Charges against former United Nations General Assembly president John Ashe for alleged corruption are being greeted with shock. Paul Chapman reports.
Former United Nations General Assembly president John Ashe appeared before a New York court late on Tuesday after his arrest on corruption allegations. A federal judge set his bail at $1 million on condition of house arrest despite prosecutors fears he could flee. Ashe's lawyer says he intends to assert immunity and fight the charges. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says Ashe was part of a major scandal. (SOUNDBITE)(English) MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY PREET BHARARA SAYING: "The complaint alleges that four defendants representing business interests in China paid at least $1.3 million in bribes to a man who was then president of the United Nations General Assembly and the permanent representative to the U.N. from Antigua. His name is John Ashe." Ashe, seen here in file footage, is charged along with another former U.N official, Francis Lorenzo. Billionaire Macau property developer Ng Lap Seng, his assistant Jeff Yin and two executives of a New York non-profit organisation have also been charged. The U.N.'s current General Assembly President says he's deeply shocked by the allegations. (SOUNDBITE)(English) MOGENS LYKKETOFT, CURRENT UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT, SAYING: "I can only agree totally with the Secretary-General when he said that, if proven, this is an attack at the very heart of the integrity of the United Nations." U.S. prosecutors say more charges could follow as authorities examine whether corruption was business as usual at the U.N.