The groups who received the donations aligned themselves with industry goals and may have played a role in an epidemic that led to 42,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2016.
The extradition came on the eve of Donald Trump’s swearing-in as president, a coincidence that some officials saw as an olive branch to the real estate mogul.
At the time of his death, Ashe had only been charged with tax fraud in connection with the bribes, amid questions about whether diplomatic immunity might preclude any bribery charges.
Prosecutors are considering further charges against Ashe, charged with bribery, which could “seriously hinder” the pre-trial plea negotiations.
A month after US prosecutors linked it to a scheme to bribe a former General Assembly president, South-South News has defended its reputation.