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(Antigua Observer) ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda –  The government of Antigua and Barbuda has responded positively to a request from the government of the United States of America for assistance with regard to ongoing criminal proceedings relating to links to the former President of the UN General Assembly John Ashe.

The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

The US Attorney’s Office has indicated that it wishes to ascertain the relationship between Ashe’s office as President of the UN General Assembly and several entities with which he had a relationship.

Giving evidence in the case, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had earlier identified connections between the several entities and members of the government of the United Progressive Party. Among the statements made by the FBI agent in a sworn deposition is that, on June 8th, 2014, Ashe told a representative of one of the entities that he is “going to Antigua on Thursday to vote and would need to take something for the PM. Hope I can have the $26 K in cash before then”.

Earlier, in an email dated July 26th 2012 to other defendants, Ashe asked for US$300,000, stating that “these funds were intended as a show of good faith” to allow him “to start the conversation” with his interlocutors in Antigua. The FBI agent revealed in his deposition that “approximately US$100,000 was sent to the then Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer in Antigua shortly after Ashe received the requested US$300,000. Subsequently, one of the persons was appointed as “Economic Envoy and Head of the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Office in Hong Kong on March 6th, 2013. Two others were appointed as “Advisers to the Office of the Prime Minister” on October 29th 2013.

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