Anti-virus software pioneer McAfee found dead in Spanish prison cell - GulfToday

Anti-virus software pioneer McAfee found dead in Spanish prison cell


John McAfee speaks on his mobile phone in front of the Supreme Court in Guatemala City. File / AFP

Spanish investigators on Thursday probed the death of anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee who was found in his prison cell after an apparent suicide following a court decision approving his extradition to the US on tax evasion charges.

John McAfee's lawyer said he had seen no sign before the entrepreneur's death in a Spanish prison that he would take his own life.

The body of the 75-year-old the British-born US technology entrepreneur was discovered at around 7:00pm on Wednesday in his cell in the Brians 2 penitentiary near Barcelona in what a prison service spokeswoman said was a death "apparently from suicide."

A court spokeswoman for the Catalonia region said on Thursday that a forensic team would need to perform toxicology tests on McAfee's body to determine the cause of death and that results could take "days or weeks.” Authorities say everything at the scene indicated that the tycoon killed himself.

McAfee-diesJohn McAfee speaks at the Malta Blockchain Summit in St Julian's. File / Reuters 

McAfee's Spanish lawyer, Javier Villalba, said the entrepreneur's death had come as a surprise to his wife and other relatives, adding he would seek to get "to the bottom” of his client's death.

"This has been like pouring cold water on the family and on his defense team," Villalba told The Associated Press on Thursday. "Nobody expected it, he had not said goodbye.”

"There was a death which suggested suicide but confirmation must come through the autopsy," the court spokeswoman told AFP, saying it could be a matter of days before a postmortem would be carried out.

According to an indictment filed in a US court, McAfee was alleged to have deliberately failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, despite earning millions from consulting work, cryptocurrencies and selling the rights to his life story. If convicted, he could have faced up to 30 years in prison.

"Guards and medical staff intervened immediately to perform resuscitation measures but doctors eventually certified his death," the Catalan justice department said in a statement.

McAfee was found dead just hours after a Spanish court said it had approved his extradition to the United States in a decision which could have been appealed.


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