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Newsline: Ex-Diplomat Tells Jurors He Got $1 Million Bribe From Developer

A former United Nations diplomat testified that he got more than $1 million from a Chinese developer who was seeking backing for a UN conference center that he hoped to build in Macao. The developer, billionaire Ng Lap Seng, is on trial charged with conspiracy and bribery in the biggest UN corruption scandal since the oil-for-food program in the early 2000s. He’s accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to former UN General Assembly President John Ashe and other officials. Francis Lorenzo, 50, one of the UN diplomats who took the bribes, told jurors in Manhattan Thursday that Ng hoped to build a permanent home for an annual UN conference on economic cooperation among developing countries. Lorenzo, the former Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Dominican Republic, said the scheme ran for five years beginning in 2010. He referred to the developer as N.G. in his testimony. Ng’s plan was to build the center for free to boost the value of a related complex of apartments, offices, a casino and hotel he also planned to develop. Ng and others involved were arrested before the center was built, Lorenzo testified. Six people were originally charged, including Ashe, who died in a weightlifting accident last year. In addition to serving as president of the general assembly, Ashe was the ambassador to the UN from Antigua and Barbuda. The remaining defendants have pleaded guilty, with some agreeing to cooperate with the prosecution. Lorenzo told jurors he’s cooperating with the hope he will get a reduced sentence.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-07/ex-diplomat-tells-jurors-he-got-1-million-bribe-from-developer

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