Family of Shane Todd returns to the US; Hopes to initiate a Congressional probe

The family of Shane Todd, left Singapore for the United States early Thursday morning, forgoing their opportunity to testify at the coroner's inquiry into the American researcher's death.

This after they dramatically stormed out of the Subordinate Courts on Tuesday and decided not to attend the remainder of the inquiry. The dramatic turn of events happened after their application to postpone a witness' testimony was denied by the State Coroner that same afternoon.

On Wednesday morning, the inquiry had started without the family's presence, after lawyers for the family told the court that they had been discharged and would no longer participate in the rest of the inquiry.

Mr Rick Todd and his wife Mary, told The Straits Times at Changi Airport before they left that they felt there was no point in staying.

The body of their son, Shane, was found hanged in his apartment here last June but they believe he was murdered.

They have no plans to hire new lawyers for the case but said they hope to initiate a US congressional investigation once they arrive back home.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said at a press conference on Wednesday night that it was unfortunate that the Todd family had chosen to walk out of the proceedings.

"The family said last week they were happy with the way the coroner's inquiry was proceeding; they like the judge and like how he was proceeding and that they had faith in the Singapore court system," he said. "But for reasons best known to them, they have now walked out."

Attended by both local and foreign media, Mr Shanmugam also fielded questions at press conference, including one about how the walkout by the Todds will affect the credibility of the ongoing inquiry, to which he said: "It's for the world to look at it and judge for itself."

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