Quantcast
  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 9 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Guatemalan police arrest software guru McAfee

By Sonia Perez-Diaz

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:05 a.m. HST, Dec 06, 2012


GUATEMALA CITY » Software company founder John McAfee was arrested by Guatemalan police for entering the country illegally, ending his bizarre weekslong journey as a blogging fugitive claiming to be persecuted by authorities in Belize.

The fate of the anti-virus guru remained unclear today as Guatemalan authorities awaited word from their Foreign Ministry as to what they would do with McAfee and whether they intended to send him back to Belize, where he is a person of interest in the killing of a fellow ex-pat.

"We are awaiting instructions from the Foreign Ministry. It will be the foreign relations department that decides the process," Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said following McAfee's arrest Wednesday at a hotel in an upscale part of Guatemala City.

Earlier on Wednesday, McAfee said he had formally requested asylum in Guatemala after entering the country from Belize, where he says he fears for his safety because he has sensitive information about official corruption and refused to donate to local politicians.

Since refusing to turn himself in to authorities in Belize, the 67-year-old had been in hiding, blogging his movements and calling reporters, until reappearing in Guatemala to claim asylum. He has not said how he crossed the border into Guatemala.

His lawyer in Guatemala, Telesforo Guerra, warned Wednesday night that McAfee's life would be in danger if he is returned 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."

Guerra said he would ask that a judge look at McAfee's case as soon as possible.

Police in Belize deny they are persecuting McAfee and say there is no warrant for his arrest. The country's prime minister has even questioned McAfee's mental state. Since there are no restrictions on his travels, it's unclear why McAfee would need any special status in order to stay in Guatemala.

McAfee went on the run last month after officials tried to question him about the killing of Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot to death in early November on the Belize island where both men lived.

McAfee had engaged in a series of clashes with neighbors and authorities over allegations he kept aggressive dogs, illegal weapons and drug paraphernalia in his beachfront home on the island. 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.

The Faull family has said through a representative that the murder of their loved one on Ambergris Caye has gotten lost in the media frenzy provoked by McAfee's manipulation of the media through phone calls, emails and blog posts detailing his life on the lam.

McAfee dropped out of sight in Belize after police said they were seeking him, although he grabbed global attention with regular phone calls with reporters and blog updates. He claimed to be wearing disguises and watching as police raided his house. It was unclear, however, how much of what McAfee — a confessed practical joker — said and wrote was true.

At one point, he even posted on his blog that he mounted an elaborate ruse in Mexico involving a double with a passport under his name.

He had earlier said he didn't plan to leave Belize but ultimately did because he thought "Sam" was in danger, referring to the young woman who has accompanied him since he went into hiding.

"I need a safe place where I can actually speak out," McAfee said on Tuesday after his arrival in Guatemala. "Now that I'm here I can speak freely. I can speak openly."

He said he fears he will be killed if he turns himself in for questioning in Belize.

"Belize does not have a good track record of providing safety when they ask to question you," he said.

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.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 9 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(9)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Kuihao wrote:
Is this the same guy who was living on Molokai a few years ago?
on December 6,2012 | 05:03AM
Usagi336 wrote:
Yup. Das the same crazy buggah!
on December 6,2012 | 07:00AM
Ipo_Mom wrote:
Talk about money not buying you happiness!
on December 6,2012 | 05:48AM
soundofreason wrote:
"Police in Belize deny they are persecuting McAfee and say there is no warrant for his arrest. The country's prime minister has even questioned McAfee's mental state. Since there are no restrictions on his travels, it's unclear why McAfee would need any special status in order to stay in Guatemala.">>> A legend in his own mind?
on December 6,2012 | 06:15AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Certainly narcissistic. This lolo was giving interviews to reporters while he was supposed to be in hiding.
on December 6,2012 | 06:46AM
Usagi336 wrote:
I remember going to a public meeting here on Molokai with him present. He gave me the impression that he thought he should be worshipped by all of us.
on December 6,2012 | 07:06AM
Labor wrote:
McAfee antivirus=> Waste of money
on December 6,2012 | 08:54AM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
Considering the number of illegal Guatemalans that come into our country every year, especially the Los Angeles area, I find it quite absurd that the Guatemalan police have arrested Mr. McAfee for entering their country illegally.
on December 6,2012 | 09:08AM
juscasting wrote:
If you have McAfee Anti-Virus or Firewall protection and are wondering why you still get hacked, now you know why! LOL!
on December 6,2012 | 01:00PM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News