Authorities of a prison in Barcelona, Spain, on Wednesday found the founder the antivirus software company McAfee – John McAfee, dead in his cell. It is suspected that he had committed suicide after the National Court of Spain approved his extradition to the United States where he was slated to face criminal tax evasion charges, said his lawyers.
The news of the death of the 75 year old McAfee was first announced by the Catalan Justice Department and first reported by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, which claimed that the death occurred within hours of the extradition ruling.
Barcelona is in the Catalonia region of Spain.
McAfee Associates founder apparently hanged himself, said McAfee’s lawyer in Spain.
According to the El Mundo report, the medical professionals of the prison tried to resuscitate McAfee who was lodged at the Brians 2 prison in Catalunya.
“Confirmation has come from our legal team in Spain that John was found dead in his jail cell,” said Nishay Sanan, McAfee’s lawyer in Chicago. “I am saddened to hear of the events and my prayers go out to his wife Janice.”
“John was and will always be remembered as a fighter,” Sanan said. “He tried to love this country but the U.S. Government made his existence impossible. They tried to erase him but they failed.”
Following the latest extradition order, McAfee had the opportunity to appeal against the order which ultimately needed final approval from Spain’s Cabinet. But according to Javier Villalba, his lawyer in Spain, he was unable to tolerate being kept locked up any longer.
“This is the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long,” Villalba told the media.
The death of McAfee in custody reminds one of the case of Jeffrey Epstein, the accused child sex trafficker and multimillionaire investor who dies in a federal jail in Manhattan in August 2019 from suicide according to officials.
It has been reported that McAfee’s own father had reportedly shot himself to death when McAfee was 15 years old. It has been reported by the McAfee’s father was an abusive alcoholic.
McAfee was arrested last October at the international airport in Barcelona on charges of tax evasion. According to legal experts, the charges against McAfee that are pending in federal court in Tennessee carry a maximum possible sentence of 30 years in prison. Since his arrest, he had been kept in Jail in Spain and had attempted to evade extradition by claiming that if he was extradited to the US, he would be politically persecuted because he was a severe critic of the IRS.
“I am content in here. I have friends.The food is good. All is well,” he had tweeted on October 15 after he was taken into custody.
“Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine,” he tweeted.
“From 2014 to 2018, McAfee allegedly failed to file tax returns, despite receiving considerable income from these sources,” the U.S. Justice Department said in October.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)