Former United Nations General Assembly president and U.N. ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda John Ashe is discussing a plea to federal charges that he took more than $1.3 million in bribes as former president of the United Nations General Assembly, his lawyer said Wednesday.
Ashe, who headed the 68th session of the U.N. body from 2013 to 2014, is one of seven individuals charged since October in connection with the bribery scheme.
John Ashe who is facing new charges after U.S decided to follow through on another indictment charge recently lost the services of attorney Hervé Gouraige, who told the judge last month that his firm Sill Cummis & Gross has a stack of outstanding bills.
U.S. District Judge Broderick has since appointed attorney Jeremy Schneider as the new attorney for Ashe, after reviewing a financial affidavit for Ashe, noting the “substantial” sums owed to Gouraige.
In a letter to the court on Wednesday, Schneider asked Judge Broderick to postpone a hearing schedule for later this month until at least June 27.
“This additional time will enable the parties to continue and hopefully conclude, the ongoing plea discussions,” Schneider wrote in a two-page letter.
If the parties reach a deal, federal prosecutors will be closing in on Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng, a real estate mogul whom they allege John Ashe received more than US$800,000 in a bribery scheme.
Francis Lorenzo, the deputy permanent representative for the United Nations to the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty in March. Sheri Yan and Heidi Park, the former CEO and director of finance of the Global Sustainability Foundation, respectively, copped to similar charges within a week of each other in January.