Former UN General Assembly president hit with more charges

US authorities unveil more charges against former United Nations General Assembly president, four others amid wide-range corruption scheme

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Judge Henry Pitman, attorney Brian Bieber and defendant Francis Lorenzo, Deputy UN Ambassador for the Dominican Republic are seen in this courtroom sketch during bail hearing in New York October 9, 2015.

The former president of the United Nations General Assembly, billionaire Macau real estate developer, Ng Lap Seng and three others have been formally charged on Tuesday over their involvement in a conspiracy and bribery scheme.

The Macau real estate billionaire Ng Lap Seng, has been indicted for bribing the former United Nations President, John Ashe to secure the endorsement of a multibillion-dollar conference center for an organisation in Macau. The UN Ambassador for the Dominican Republic, Francis Lorenzo has also been charged for funneling the payment. 

Prosecutors claim Ng paid Ashe more than $500,000 to gain the UN officials support over the conference center in Macau.

“The indictment merely repeats the same general allegations in the original complaint‎,” Ng’s lawyer, Ben Brafman said in a statement.

 “Mr. Ng intends to plead not guilty and defend against the charges, ” Brafman added.

This is not the first time Ng has faced such a case, as he and his assistant Jeff Yin were arrested last month for smuggling more than $4,5 million into the US over two years.

Two additional bribery charges have also been added against former CEO of Global Sustainability Foundation, Sheri Yan, as he has been accused of distributing bribes of up to $800,000 to Ashe through three unidentified Chinese businessmen.

According to prosecutors, Ashe has taken $1,3 million in bribes from Chinese businessmen.

Although he was arrested two weeks ago with Yan, there was no mention of the organization's finance director, Heidi Park in the indictment, 

On the other hand, Ashe only faces two tax-related charges. Prosecutors claim that he has hid more than $1.2 million in bribes from the International Revenue Service.  

Ashe, Ng, Lorenzo along with two others will appear in court on Thursday, said Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the southern district of New York.

On Friday, a federal magistrates court set Ng’s bail at $50 million with the condition that he remains in house prison and be monitored closely by private security guards. 

However, the US has now delayed this ruling until Thursday.

TRTWorld and agencies