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Antivirus pioneer McAfee found dead in prison after Spain agrees to US extradition

·1-min read

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 US, 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.

The high court had agreed earlier on Wednesday to extradite him back to the US where he faces tax evasion charges.

McAfee, 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 linked the charges filed by the Internal Revenue Service to his failed bid to run as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 2020 US 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 one percent of votes in US elections.

US 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 US 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.

The Spanish court authorised the extradition but only to face charges related to his tax returns for 2016, 2017 and 2018 as the prosecution had asked.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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