Appeal to reopen investigation into prison death of anti virus pioneer John McAfee is rejected by court in Spain
The death of colourful security and cryptocurrency expert John McAfee back in 2021, is once again in the news headlines.
Last week the Associated Press reported that a court in Spain rejected an appeal to reopen the investigation into the 2021 death of British-American tycoon McAfee, creator of McAfee antivirus software.
McAfee was found hanging in his cell in an apparent suicide.
Spanish authorities determined that the 75-year-old had killed himself and there was nothing to suggest otherwise, the court in Barcelona reportedly said last Friday.
The decision on the appeal was final, AP reported.
McAfee’s family had asked for the case, which had been closed with the court’s suicide verdict in February 2022, to be reopened.
The death of John McAfee came after he had argued that the US charges against him were politically motivated. He also said he would spend the rest of his life in prison if he was returned to the US.
It was understood at the time that McAfee could face a prison sentence of 30 years in the US if found guilty.
However, McAfee did have other some legal options left open to him before his death, as the Spanish court extradition decision could have been appealed and the final extradition had still needed final approval of the Spanish Cabinet.
McAfee led a very colourful life after he left the antivirus company that bore his name in 1994. Indeed, he twice ran for US president.
But he had been arrested in Barcelona airport in October 2020, after he tried to board a flight to Istanbul with a British passport. He was arrested to face US charges of evading more than $4 million in taxes.
McAfee had been born on a US military base in the UK (to an American dad and a British mother – hence the British passport), but he was considered a natural-born citizen of the United States.
Then in March 2021, both McAfee and his executive adviser and bodyguard Jimmy Gale Watson Jr were indicted in the US on fraud and money-laundering charges related to alleged cryptocurrency schemes.
But McAfee had had other legal troubles before the US tax evasion charges.
In 2012 McAfee disappeared for the best part of a month (and was presumed dead) when his neighbour in Belize and fellow US expatriate Gregory Faull was shot in the head in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.
McAfee hid in Belize jungle for three weeks, but then crossed into neighbouring Guatemala, where he was arrested by immigration officials for entering the country illegally.