Antivirus creator John McAfee found dead in prison after Spanish court allows extradition

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Antivirus creator John McAfee, 75, was found dead in his prison cell in Barcelona after the Spanish high court had authorised his extradition to the U.S., the Catalan justice department said, confirming an earlier report from El Mundo newspaper. 

Everything points it could be a death by suicide, the department said in a statement.

Earlier the Spanish High Court has authorised the extradition of John McAfee, an antivirus software creator, to the United States where he faces tax evasion charges, a court document released on Wednesday showed.

McAfee, 75, who was arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020, said during an extradition hearing this month that the accusations against him were politically motivated. He can still appeal against the court’s extradition authorisation.

He has linked the charges filed by the Internal Revenue Service to his failed bid to run as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a second such attempt.

The Spanish prosecutor, Carlos Bautista, said McAfee was just a tax dodger and dismissed the accusation of a political motivation, insisting the Libertarian Party rarely gains more than 1% of votes in U.S. elections.

U.S. federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment in October against McAfee over charges that he evaded taxes and wilfully failed to file returns.

That came shortly after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it had brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging he made over $23.1 million in undisclosed income from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Joan Faus, Editing by Franklin Paul)