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March 17, 2013

MFA Spokesman's comments in response to media queries on US Senators' introduction of an amendment to block US funding to the Institute of Microelectronics

                    In response to media queries on US Senators Max Baucus’ (Democrat – Montana) and Jon Tester’s (Democrat – Montana) introduction of a measure to block US funding to Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) until the US Attorney General certifies that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has full access to all evidence and records relevant to the death of US citizen Shane Todd, the MFA Spokesman said:


                    "We are deeply disappointed by the Senators' actions and statements.  The Senators had requested the FBI to be given "full access" to all the evidence in the investigation conducted by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) over the case, based on the version of the facts provided by the family alone.  The SPF so far has refrained from publicising the information they have gathered because investigations are ongoing, after which there will be a public Coroner's Inquiry where all the facts will be laid out to determine the cause of Mr Todd's death. 


                   In the spirit of cooperation and openness, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam met Senator Baucus in Washington DC on 12 March 2013, and told the Senator that the SPF was prepared to share relevant evidence with the FBI in accordance with the legal framework of both countries.  The Minister reiterated this at a press conference after the meeting.  The SPF has also publicly committed to take into account any information and evidence that the FBI may independently gather.  The SPF will ensure that all information is comprehensively examined and scrutinized during its investigation, and have done so through foreign experts and in this case, the FBI.  The SPF will continue to work with the FBI to engage the Todd family to get their co-operation and assistance for the on-going investigation.


                   Minister Shanmugam also pointed out that IME was subject to rigorous internal audits.  IME was prepared to have a team from the US conduct a process audit to satisfy itself of this. 


                    The issue of applying “pressure” should not arise between countries, which have had a long, open and cooperative relationship with each other based on mutual respect.  Singapore has made every effort to be open and transparent in both the investigation of Mr Todd’s death and the IME’s projects.  We will let the outcome of the investigation and Coroner's Inquiry speak for themselves. "


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17 MARCH 2013