McAfee in Miami after deportation

McAfee in Miami after deportation

Summary: Anti-virus software founder John McAfee said on Thursday that US authorities had made no efforts to question him since his arrival in Miami after weeks of evading Belizean authorities who want to ask him about the death of his neighbour.

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TOPICS: Security, Legal
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"Why would they want to question me? About what?" a tired-looking, but sharply dressed McAfee said on Thursday from the steps of his South Beach hotel. The multimillionaire was characteristically chatty, and seemed to enjoy posing for pictures with tourists and signing autographs, while talking about his two girlfriends and the alleged corruption in Belize that forced him to flee.

McAfee was deported from Guatemala after sneaking in illegally from Belize, where police want to question him in connection with the death of a US expatriate who lived near him on an island off Belize's coast. US officials have said that there was no active arrest warrant for McAfee that would justify taking him into custody.

McAfee said that he was put on a plane to Miami, where he will stay until his two girlfriends, 20-year-old Belizean Samantha Vanegas and a woman he called "Amy", can join him.

"I had the warmest welcome of my life. The captain patted me on the shoulders and said, 'We're here to help you, sir, please come with us'," McAfee told a throng of reporters camped outside his hotel on Thursday.

The 67-year-old British native said that he has no money and no home in the US, and has been getting by on cash that a Canadian friend sent him until his property manager comes to Miami with his cash and credit cards.

If he's reunited with the women, he said he doesn't know where he'll live or how he'll rebuild his life. Over the weekend, he said that he would be happy to go to England, noting he has dual citizenship.

McAfee bristled as reporters repeatedly asked him why he won't answer questions from officials in Belize, denying he was under investigation. He stressed that he was afraid to answer questions because dozens of officials there stormed his property, killed his dogs, handcuffed him for hours, and tried to extort money. He has not been charged with a crime.

"If they didn't want to harm me, why have they been harming my property and my dogs? Now, five of my dogs have been killed," said McAfee, claiming authorities shot one of his dogs in the head and raided his house eight times.

He said he had no choice but to flee because, "there was a nationwide manhunt for me," and he worried that he would be thrown in a cell and silenced if captured. Officials in Belize also trumped up charges against him for running a meth lab out of his home and hiring security guards without a license, he said.

"Did I kill Mr Faull? No. Let me be clear, I had absolutely nothing to do with the murder in Belize."

He begged the state department to expedite visas for his girlfriend. Vanegas had accompanied him when he was on the run, but did not go with him to the US

McAfee said that he faked a heart attack in Guatemala to give his lawyer enough time to file motions to keep him from returning to Belize.

"Immediately after, I got well," he deadpanned.

McAfee's expulsion from Guatemala marked the last chapter in a strange, month-long odyssey to avoid police questioning about the November killing of American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull, who lived a couple of houses down from McAfee's compound on Ambergris Caye, off Belize's Caribbean coast.

McAfee has acknowledged that his dogs were bothersome and that Faull had complained about them days before some of the dogs were poisoned. The two did not get along, he said.

"He hated my dogs. I was not fond of him. I wasn't fond of any of my neighbours. I'm not fond of most people who drink." he said, adding that most people on the island thought he was a "weirdo" because he doesn't drink.

Topics: Security, Legal

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  • This one's not over yet

    It would be surprising if the U.S. didn't have an extradition treaty with Belize, and murder is normally an extraditable offence. Mr. McAfee could fight it, of course, which, if his his story is correct, makes him better off here than there.

    Her Majesty's Government in Belize have the next move.
    John L. Ries