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Thursday, June 23, 2016, 09:48

Ex-UNGA chief dies amid bribery case

By Associated Press

Ex-UNGA chief dies amid bribery case
John William Ashe, President of the United Nations General Assembly speaks as Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at a high level meeting at UN headquarters in New York in this Sept 23, 2013 file photograph. (AFP PHOTO / Stan HONDA)
ST. JOHN'S, ANTIGUA - Former UN General Assembly President John Ashe of the twin-island Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda died on Wednesday in the United States as he was facing criminal charges in a bribery case. He was 61.

Ashe died at his home in Dobbs Ferry, New York, according to Sgt. Vincent Ingani, of the Dobbs Ferry Police Department. He gave no other details.

A younger brother in Antigua, Paul Ashe, and his attorney in New York, Jeremy Schneider, confirmed his death without providing details about the cause.

"I do not know definitively what the cause of death was," Schneider said. "It's a tragic loss for his family and the community. He was preparing to fight his case at trial."

Ashe was a former UN ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda who served in the largely ceremonial post of president of the 193-nation assembly from September 2013 to September 2014.

He was accused by US federal authorities of turning the position into a "platform for profit" by accepting more than US$1 million in bribes.

The alleged conspiracy involves six others including a billionaire Chinese real estate mogul, two diplomats and a humanitarian organization officer.

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