Joanne Chesimard

The 55-year-old lawyer, accused in his girlfriend’s killing, was brought back to New Jersey on Tuesday.

Cuba’s release of a Montclair homicide suspect to FBI agents Tuesday was the result of an Interpol notice and recent agreements with the United States, the Cuban government said.

While the country has defended the political asylum granted to New Jersey fugitive Joanne Chesimard more than 20 years ago, Cuban officials in a statement Wednesday said the transfer of James Ray III — whom they did not identify by name — was surrendered in keeping with “Cuba’s full compliance with its international legal obligations” and law enforcement agreements with the U.S.

Ray, a 55-year-old lawyer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Angela Bledsoe last month, was detained after he arrived in the country on Oct. 28. Investigators on Wednesday said Ray was arrested before he could go through Cuban customs.

Joanne Chesimard, now known as Assata Shakur. (New Jersey State Police)

Cuba’s cooperation in Ray’s case stands in marked contrast to U.S. authorities’ decades-long struggle to extradite Chesimard, now known as Assata Shakur, who was granted asylum in Cuba in 1984 after escaping from state prison in New Jersey.

Shakur was convicted in connection with the killing of State Trooper Werner Foerster, who was shot to death on the Turnpike in 1973. Foerster was killed by Sundiata Acoli, who remains in New Jersey State Prison. Shakur, who was at the shooting scene, was also convicted of Foerster’s killing and sentenced to life in prison.

She is now 71 and believed to still live in Cuba. She remains on the FBI’s list of “most wanted terrorists,” and there’s a $2 million reward for her capture and return.

Cuban officials have rebuffed repeated requests to extradite Shakur, a former member …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time News

      

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