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John Ashe, ex-UN official facing bribery charges, dies at 61

Ambassador John Ashe, of Antigua and Barbuda, the

Ambassador John Ashe, of Antigua and Barbuda, the President of the General Assembly 68th session, speaks at United Nations headquarters on Sept. 17, 2013. Credit: AP

Former United Nations General Assembly president John Ashe, facing bribery charges in federal court in Manhattan, died Wednesday after dropping a barbell on his neck at his Dobbs Ferry home, the Westchester County medical examiner has ruled.

A spokesperson for Medical Examiner Ashar Kunjlata said the death, which occurred while Ashe was performing a bench press, has been ruled accidental.

Ashe, 61, a diplomat from Antigua, headed the General Assembly in 2013 and 2014. He was charged last year with receiving $500,000 in bribes from billionaire Macau developer Ng Lap Seng to support development of a UN conference center in Macau.

He had pleaded not guilty. Seng is still awaiting trial on the charge.

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