CORRECTED-Ex-U.N. diplomat in bribe case likely faces more charges -U.S. prosecutor

lunes 26 de octubre de 2015 15:31 GYT

(Corrects name of prosecutor to Janis Echenberg, instead of Eckenberg, in paragraphs 4-5)

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK Oct 26 (Reuters) - A former United Nations General Assembly president accused of being part of a bribery scheme would likely face additional charges, a U.S. prosecutor said on Monday, as the diplomat prepared to be released from jail.

John Ashe, also a former U.N. ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda, already faces two counts of tax fraud in an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court.

But prosecutors have not charged Ashe with bribery, despite their allegations that he took $1.3 million in bribes from Chinese businessmen, because of the possible diplomatic immunity he enjoys. Prosecutors say that immunity does not apply to the tax charges.

At a court hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Janis Echenberg said prosecutors were "looking carefully" at the immunity issue.

"It is likely if not quite likely there will be additional charges here," Echenberg said. She said a decision would come as quickly as possible.

The prosecutor made the disclosure as U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick adjusted the conditions for Ashe, 61, to be released from jail on a $1 million bond and be placed under house arrest.

Ashe could be released later on Monday, three weeks after his Oct. 6 arrest. While prosecutors had objected, arguing Ashe could flee, Herve Gouraige, his lawyer, said he posed "little if any risk of flight."   Continuación...