Shane Todd inquiry continues without his family, foreign pathologists take the stand

The coroner's inquiry into American researcher Shane Todd's death continued on Wednesday despite the Todd family's absence and news that they have discharged their Singapore lawyers earlier in the morning.

Dr Luis Montes, an ex-colleague of Dr Todd's at the Singapore Institute of Microelectronics, testified that he had previously met Dr Todd's parents at a gathering.

This contradicted what the Todd family told reporters on Tuesday afternoon - after storming out of the Subordinate Courts - that they had never met Dr Montes.

Two certified foreign pathologists from the United States engaged by the State then took the stand. Both pathologists disputed the family's expert Dr Edward Adelstein's testimony on Tuesday that Dr Todd could have been murdered.

Dr David Richard Fowler, the chief examiner for the state of Maryland, agreed with the autopsy report that the bruises on Dr Todd's hands were likely post-mortem pooling of blood, and any bruising would have been "evident" at the time of autopsy. Dr Valerie Rao agreed.

Both pathologists also disputed the lack of facial bleeding as having ruled out death by hanging, something that Dr Adelstein alleged. State Counsel Isaac Tan presented a medical paper by Dr Rao that surveyed 5,000 deaths. It concluded that post-mortem facial bleeding had a very low occurrence in cases of hanging.

The two experts concurred that there was no merit in Dr Adelstein's conjecture that Dr Todd had been killed by either a taser or an armlock. "It was a suicide," said Dr Fowler.

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