Ex-U.N. Assembly President Dies in Weightlifting Accident

John Ashe, a Dobbs Ferry resident accused of accepting more than $1 million in bribes, was under investigation for fraud charges.

John Ashe, a Dobbs Ferry resident and former U.N. General Assembly President who was charged with accepting over $1 million in bribes last October, died in a weightlifting accident on Wednesday, June 23, officials announced Thursday.

Dobbs Ferry police responded to a medical emergency call at Ashe’s home Wednesday, where he was pronounced dead at 4:48 pm.

Ashe, who served as General Assembly president from 2013 to 2014, died from “traumatic asphyxia with laryngeal cartilage fractures while lifting barbell on bench,” according to the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s office. The death has been ruled an accident. 

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Current U.N. General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft confirmed Ashe’s death in a statement, describing him as “a hard-working and popular member of the diplomatic corps in New York and at the United Nations.”

“I know that his death will come as sad news to the many professional friends and colleagues he made during his time here,” said Lykketoft.

Last October, Ashe, 61, was arrested for allegedly failing to report and pay income taxes on the more than $1 million in bribes accepted in a conspiracy that involved six others, including a billionaire Chinese real estate mogul, two diplomats, and a humanitarian organization officer.

At a May 9 hearing, U.S. authorities announced that prosecutors were planning to seek a new indictment against Ashe in the case, however at the time of his death, he had only been charged with tax fraud. Ashe pleaded not guilty.

Ashe is survived by his wife and two children.

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