UPDATE 1-Ex-U.N. diplomat in bribe case likely faces more charges -U.S. prosecutor

lunes 26 de octubre de 2015 18:34 GYT
 

(Adds details on release of defendants from jail)

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, hours before the diplomat was released from jail.

John Ashe, who served in the U.N. post from 2013 to 2014, already faces two counts of tax fraud in an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court.

But prosecutors have not charged Ashe with bribery, despite allegations he took $1.3 million in bribes from Chinese businessmen, citing his possible diplomatic immunity. 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, and would decide as quickly as possible about charging him for bribery.

"It is likely if not quite likely there will be additional charges here," Echenberg said.

The prosecutor made the disclosure as U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick adjusted the conditions for Ashe to be released from jail on a $1 million bond. While prosecutors argued Ashe could flee, Herve Gouraige, his lawyer, said he posed "little if any risk of flight."

The adjustment allowed Ashe, a former U.N. ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda, to be released later on Monday, following his Oct. 6 arrest.   Continuación...