Christie Asks Obama to Work to Extradite Tupac’s Aunt From Cuba

New Jersey's chief executive sent President Barack Obama a letter urging federal officials to extradite late rapper Tupac Shakur's aunt, who was convicted more than 40 years ago of killing a state trooper, from Cuba before normalizing diplomatic relations with the Caribbean nation.

Gov. Chris Christie asked Obama to work to bring back Joanne Chesimard, the woman who was convicted of murdering Trooper Werner Foerster during a gunfight on the New Jersey Turnpike near East Brunswick in 1973.

Chesimard escaped from prison and eventually ended up in Cuba, where she was granted asylum by Fidel Castro and has been living under the name Assata Shakur. 

In the letter, Christie said he didn't agree with the president's recently announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, but said it was an opportunity to bring justice to Foerster's family.

"Despite my profound disagreement with this decision, I believe there is an opportunity for Cuba and its government to show the American people it is serious about change," Christie said in the letter.

State authorities have made numerous efforts to extradite Chesimard, who remains on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List. The FBI and the State Police are offering $2 million for information leading to her capture.

Fuentes said he hopes the reward money will prompt "fresh information in the light of this altered international relationship." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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