December 6, 2012

Software guru McAfee hospitalized after being denied asylum

The software company founder is wanted as a person of interest in the killing of a fellow ex-pat in Belize.

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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In this photo released by Guatemala's Human Rights Ombudsman's office, software company founder John McAfee is photographed in an immigration detention center in Guatemala City, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Guatemala's Human Rights Ombudsman's office)

McAfee updated his blog Thursday after being given a computer by the warden at the immigration center in Guatemala City, a three-story building with mesh-covered windows and barbed-wire on the roof.

McAfee said U.S. Embassy officials had said they couldn't help him with a request to be returned to the United States instead of Belize. McAfee said he had formally requested asylum in Guatemala because he fears for his safety in Belize because he has sensitive information about official corruption and refused to donate to local politicians.

His Guatemalan lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, warned Wednesday night that the 67-yeard-old McAfee's life would be in danger if he is sent back to Belize.

"He will be in danger if he is returned to Belize, where he has denounced authorities," Guerra said. "From the moment he asked for asylum he has to have the protection of the Guatemalan government."

Police in Belize deny they are persecuting McAfee and say there is no warrant for his arrest. The country's prime minister has questioned McAfee's mental state.

McAfee went on the run last month after officials tried to question him about the killing of Faull, who was shot to death in early November.

McAfee acknowledges that his dogs were bothersome and that Faull had complained about them, but denies killing Faull. Faull's home was a couple of houses down from McAfee's compound.

McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus program, has led an eccentric life since he sold his stake in the anti-virus software company that is named after him in the early 1990s and moved to Belize about three years ago to lower his taxes.

He told The New York Times in 2009 that he had lost all but $4 million of his $100 million fortune in the U.S. financial crisis. However, a story on the Gizmodo website quoted him as calling that claim "not very accurate at all." He has dabbled in yoga, ultra-light aircraft and producing herbal medications.

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