News John Ashe, ex-UN official facing bribery charges, dies at 61 John Ashe, former UN General Assembly president, has died. Pictured: Ashe at a summer concert at the United Nations on June 6, 2014, in New York City. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola By Newsday staff Updated June 23, 2016 5:58 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Former United Nations General Assembly president John Ashe, facing bribery charges in federal court in Manhattan, died Wednesday after dropping a barbell on his neck at his Dobbs Ferry home, the Westchester County medical examiner has ruled. A spokesperson for Medical Examiner Ashar Kunjlata said the death, which occurred while Ashe was performing a bench press, has been ruled accidental. Ashe, 61, a diplomat from Antigua, headed the General Assembly in 2013 and 2014. He was charged last year with receiving $500,000 in bribes from billionaire Macau developer Ng Lap Seng to support development of a UN conference center in Macau. He had pleaded not guilty. Seng is still awaiting trial on the charge. By Newsday staff John Riley covers courts in New York City for Newsday. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.