NEW YORK- A former UN General Assembly president, a billionaire Macau real estate developer and three others accused by US authorities of engaging in a wide-ranging bribery scheme pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
John Ashe, a former UN ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda and onetime General Assembly president accused of taking more than $1.3 million in bribes from Chinese businessmen, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to tax fraud charges.
Ng Lap Seng, a developer from the Chinese territory Macau who has a $1.8 billion net worth and who prosecutors say paid $500,000 in bribes to Ashe, pleaded not guilty to charges including bribery and money laundering.
Other defendants who pleaded not guilty include Francis Lorenzo, a now-suspended deputy UN ambassador from the Dominican Republic; Jeff Yin, Ng's assistant; and Sheri Yan, who had been chief executive of Global Sustainability Foundation.
Their arraignment came after a federal grand jury indicted the defendants on Tuesday, adding new charges in a case first announced Oct. 6.