In his first media outing since news of a corruption scheme involving former president of the United Nations General Assembly Dr John Ashe, former prime minister Baldwin Spencer defended his party’s integrity and said the former Antiguan and Barbudan diplomat lied.

“While I am deeply saddened by the circumstances in which Dr Ashe now finds himself, based on the court document, he gravely misrepresented the United Progressive Party government by implying that bribe money was necessary to gain an audience with me or my colleague ministers. That was never the case during the 10 years of our administration,” Spencer said in a pre-recorded statement on Friday.

The Leader of Opposition said Dr Ashe was asked to provide assistance in raising such funds, and in no way did he (Spencer) hesitate to accept his money as he had no reason to question his (Ashe’s) integrity.

Former President of UN General Assembly. Photo courtesy

Former President of UN General Assembly. Photo courtesy

“I had absolutely no cause to distrust him, or to suspect the source of the donations he brought to the party,” Spencer said. “As a senior, seasoned, and highly respected diplomat of more than 20 years’ good standing, Dr Ashe served the government of Antigua & Barbuda — both the ALP and the UPP administrations with distinction,” he added.

Spencer said in the same vein he accepted donations from local persons representing other business interests that did not wish to be named. Article courtesy

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