A very devastating, yet questionable event shook the halls of the United Nations on Wednesday. Former President of the UN General Assembly and former UN Ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda John Ashe died on Wednesday in Dobbs Ferry, NY after suffering traumatic asphyxia while lifting a barbell. This tragedy which has roused emotions throughout the UN community came at a very suspicious time in John Ashe’s life.
“Despite the many as yet unproven accusations made against him, Mr. Ashe was for many years a hard-working and popular member of the diplomatic corps in New York and at the United Nations,” said current President of the UN General Assembly Mr. Lykketoft . “I know that his death will come as sad news to the many professional colleagues and friends he made during his time here,” he added.
His accidental death, however, came not too long before his trial for accusations by U.S. prosecutors of taking $ 1.3 million in bribes from billionaire Ng Lap Seng, Macau real estate developer, and several Chinese businessmen to support their interests at the UN. At the time of his death Ashe was still under investigation for corruption claims, a very stressful undertaking that would understandably have caused the UN’s initial death report–he had a heart attack .
For 24 hours the international community thought that Ashe had died of a heart attack, oddly enough, at a very coincidental time before Ashe’s trial. Further investigations may tie greater networks of people to these corruption claims and with Ashe out of the picture, other conspirators might be shielded now. It is not unwarranted to speculate how far these investigations could go with five others also charged in this particular case including Francis Lorenzo , a deputy UN Ambassador from the Dominican Republic living in the Bronx.
Perhaps this is all coincidental, but it is media duty to continue to investigate. As more information is released La Voce will be watching.