Arrest of ex-UN prez ‘a warning to all’

Former UN General Assembly president Dr. John Ashe, left, and St. Kitts and Nevis Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Brantley, who says Ashe’s arrest should be heeded by all those in public service.

ArrestBASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The arrest of former Antiguan ambassador John Ashe in the U.S. should serve as a warning to others, according to St. Kitts and Nevis Foreign Affairs Minister Mark Brantley.

U.S. authorities earlier this month charged the former UN General Assembly president with taking bribes from a Chinese billionaire.

Ashe is accused of taking $1.3 million, spending the cash on luxury goods.

Brantley says diplomats as well as politicians should take note.

“It is a warning to all of us, diplomats, politicians and others, that we are to conduct matters in accordance with the law in a fair and transparent manner, and I feel that, if there is any lesson to be learned from this, it is that all of us need to be careful and cautious and ensure that at all times we scrupulously adhere to the best practices, and conduct ourselves in accordance with the law,” Brantley told WINN.

The Ashe situation continues to attract comments.

Political advisor Dr. Isaac Newton says Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne was too quick to throw Ashe “under the bus”, especially since the former diplomat has not yet been convicted of wrongdoing.

Newton, a former ambassador as well, described Browne’s actions as “unfortunate.”

He charged that the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) has a long history of corruption allegations, and if he applied the same practice to the party, there are people he would have to distance himself from too.

Brantley says he hopes the Ashe matter will be resolved in accordance