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Former UN chief John Ashe charged with taking $1.3m in bribes

October 6, 2015 6:25 pm

US authorities have charged a former United Nations General Assembly president with taking bribes from a Chinese billionaire.

New York prosecutors said John Ashe “converted the UN into a platform for profit” as he helped real estate mogul Ng Lap Seng gain government contracts.
Mr Ashe is accused of taking $1.3m, spending the cash on luxury goods.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “shocked and deeply troubled” by the allegations.

“In return for Rolex watches, a basketball court and bespoke suits, John Ashe sold himself and the global institution he led,” said US Federal Attorney Preet Bharara. “United by greed, they converted the UN into a platform for profit.”

Prosecutors say Mr Ashe used his position as permanent resident to the United Nations for Antigua and Barbuda and General Assembly head to introduce a UN document supporting a multibillion-dollar UN-sponsored conference centre that Mr Ng hoped to build as his legacy in Macau, where he lived.