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McAfee expelled from Guatemala, headed back to U.S.

o Jaikumar Vijayan
12.12.2012 kl 23:21 | Computerworld (US)

The antivirus pioneer John McAfee is headed back to the United States after authorities in Guatemala expelled him earlier today for illegally entering the country in an attempt to escape authorities in Belize, where he is wanted for questioning in connection with a murder.

 

The antivirus pioneer John McAfee is headed back to the United States after authorities in Guatemala expelled him earlier today for illegally entering the country in an attempt to escape authorities in Belize, where he is wanted for questioning in connection with a murder.

In a phone interview with Bloomberg News this afternoon, the 67-year old said he was being put on an American Airlines flight to Miami on Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm being expelled," McAfee said in the interview, which appears to have been given just before he was driven to the airport by Guatemalan law enforcement authorities.

"I have no choice in the matter," he said. "However, I am perfectly happy with the decision."

McAfee said he has recorded an apology to the Guatemalan president "for putting him in a very slippery position in their negotiation of a peace treaty with Belize," McAfee told Bloomberg news. "I told him I sympathize with his decision and I hoped that he would sympathize with mine," McAfee added, presumably referring to his decision to seek refuge in Guatemala.

McAfee, the founder of the antivirus company with the eponymous name, has been on the run from Belize police since Nov. 10th, after his neighbor and fellow American Gregory Faull was found shot to death in his home.

A disguised McAfee, along with his girlfriend and two reporters, eluded Belize police for three weeks before managing to slip into Guatemala last week.

Guatemalan police promptly arrested him and said they would deport him back to Belize last Friday. However, McAfee who suffered a mini breakdown while in detention in Guatemala, appears to have managed to get the government there to send him back to the U.S. instead.

Prior to the killing, McAfee and Faull were rumored to have had some sort of disagreement over several guard dogs owned by McAfee. Belize police have claimed that McAfee is not a suspect in the murder but only want to question him as a person of interest in the case.

McAfee has denied any connection with Faull's death and has consistently maintained that he would be harmed and possibly killed if he were to surrender to Belize police.

He reiterated those claims in his interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday afternoon. McAfee claimed that he has offered on numerous occasions to speak with Belize police via phone. "This is not an issue of talking about murder," McAfee maintained today. "It's an issue of putting their hands on my person."

McAfee, who is believed to have made over a $100 million from his antivirus company, has been living in Belize for the past several years. He has established a drug company there called QuorumEx that is focused on manufacturing a herbal antibacterial compound.

McAfee has been in trouble with Belize law enforcement before this. Earlier this year, more than three-dozen fully armed Belize police raided his home on suspicion that he was operating a meth lab in that country.

Though the raid yielded nothing incriminating, the chief of Belize's gang suppression unit has been quoted as saying that McAfee is believed to be involved with criminal gangs in that country.

McAfee's life on the run from Belize law enforcement have been closely watched and widely chronicled. McAfee himself has not missed an opportunity to speak with media outlets, even when supposedly hiding from Belize police.

He has also been posting regular updates of his travails on a blog that appears to be maintained by several of his supporters. Two days ago, a Montreal-based company announced that it has secured movie and TV rights to McAfee's life story.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed. His e-mail address is jvijayan@computerworld.com.

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