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Security officer suspended over iPhone engineer's death

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Following yesterday's news that a Chinese engineer committed suicide after misplacing a 4G iPhone prototype, a security officer involved in the death has been suspended from his job, and his case has been turned over to Chinese authorities.

The engineer worked for Foxconn, which manufacturers iPhones on behalf of Apple, and word of the security officer's suspension arrived from Hon Hai Group, which owns 72 per cent of Foxconn.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Hon Hai Group released a statement that Foxconn did not "authorize any person or department to violate the law" in the case of 25-year-old Sun Danyong, whose suicide we reported Tuesday.

Sun leapt to his death from his 12th-floor apartment window a few days after he told his superiors that one of the 16 iPhone 4G prototypes which had been entrusted to him had gone missing. Both Foxconn and Apple have acknowledged Sun's suicide.

What happened between Sun's admission of the missing prototype and his suicide is in dispute. According to various sources, including China Radio International and VentureBeat, Sun was allegedly beaten during a search of his apartment by Foxconn security personnel. A few hours later, Sun committed suicide - an act that was videotaped by security cameras.

No admission of a search or beating has been made by Foxconn, but they have now suspended without pay a security official identified only by his surname, Gu. The case remains murky. ®

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