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Former UN General Assembly president Ashe dies


TONY BEST

Former UN General Assembly president Ashe dies

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NEW YORK – John Ashe, a Caribbean diplomat who became President of the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 but was later accused of fraud by the United States, has died suddenly at his home in upstate New York.

Ashe, 61, collapsed and died of a massive heart attack Wednesday, according to a member of his family.

His death was also confirmed by Baldwin Spencer, a former Prime Minister of Antigua, who had appointed him Ambassador.

Ashe served as Antigua’s top diplomat to the world body for several years and was elected President of the UN General Assembly in 2013. He served for a year in the post.

“Mr Ashe was under tremendous strain as a result of the allegations,” said Spencer. “The allegations aside, John served his country well and his unexpected death is a tremendous loss to his family and Antigua as a whole. We share their loss.”

In October last year, U.S. federal prosecutors in New York arrested and charged the Antiguan diplomat with taking $1.3 million in bribes from a Chinese billionaire.

Prosecutors alleged that during his tenure as UN President Ashe “converted” the world body “into a platform for profit.”

He was accused of using the money to buy luxury goods. He spent several weeks in jail after his arrest but was later released on bail. He was awaiting trial when he died. (TB)

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