Guatemala Denies McAfee Asylum
According to ABC News he could be sent back to Belize immediately
By: Maureen O'Gara
Dec. 7, 2012 06:00 AM
Guatemala Thursday denied John McAfee refuge. He is expected to be flown back to the capital of Belize where he is wanted for questioning about the murder of a neighbor he accused of poisoning his dogs.
On his blog McAfee, who turned up in Guatemala earlier this week seeking asylum, is asking supporters to "Please email the President of Guatemala and beg him to allow the court system to proceed, to determine my status in Guatemala." The president, however, has previously indicated he wants him out.
The situation apparently deteriorated rapidly. Blogging from an immigration detention center just shortly before McAfee claimed that "My lawyer just brought a judge to the jail and the judge issued a stay order until a higher judge can review the case. This effectively stops Immigration from returning me to the Belize border. So..... the urgency is eased a bit."
The tattooed gun-toting founder of McAfee, the namesake antivirus house now owned by Intel, has been on the run from Belize police for the last three weeks. Affecting a thin disguise by dyeing his blond-tipped hair and beard black, he was arrested by Guatemala's immigration authorities for illegally entering the country Wednesday night.
Before his arrest, he managed to stage a press conference. He repeated his fears of being murdered by the Belize police and said he would seek sanctuary. He claims Belize is corrupt and that he is being persecuted because he didn't donate money to local politicians.
He has hired a former attorney general of Guatemala Telesforo Guerra as his lawyer. Guerra is reportedly the uncle of Samantha, the 20-year-old girl who's been on the lam with McAfee. Guerra said he tried enlisting the aid of the local American embassy to support McAfee's asylum request. The embassy said it couldn't help McAfee with a request to be returned to the US instead of Belize.
McAfee relocated to Belize in 2008 his $100 million fortune supposedly severely reduced, a statement to the New York Times back then that he now repudiates.
According to ABC News he could be sent back to Belize immediately unless a judge decides his life is in danger and Guerra told the AP that "It seems that there's been a government decision to throw him out of Guatemala."
Labeled "bonkers" by Belize's prime minister, McAfee reportedly told ABC in an interview before his arrest that he was prepared to prove his sanity. Belize has said McAfee is not a suspect in the murder but Guerra told ABC News "You don't have to believe what the police say. Even though they say he is not a suspect they were trying to capture him."
Reuters says there is no extradition treaty between Belize and Guatemala, which claims to own a chunk of its neighbor.
See McAfee's blog at www.whoismcafee.com/.
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