US anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee said that he has filed legal motions with the Guatemalan government to avoid extradition to Belize, in hopes of being sent instead to the United States.
“What we are doing is filing a series of papers, a series of filings with the court to attempt to keep me here long enough for the world to see the injustice of sending me back to Belize,” McAfee said during an online press conference from Guatemala, where he has been detained.
He added: “I have never had a long term plan. I simply would like to live comfortably, day by day, fish, swim, enjoy my declining years.”
Returning to the United States, “is my only hope now,” he said.
“I’d be very happy to go to America — America is my home. It’s where I was raised, that’s exactly what I want,” he said.
The live-streamed press briefing, in which McAfee responded to questions previously submitted by reporters via email, was held after his attorneys earlier Sunday filed petitions to try to avert his deportation for questioning over his neighbor’s murder in Belize.
The software magnate said there is a 30-day stay on his deportation while judicial officials here review his petition.
“For 30 days, no matter what happens, the government can not return me to Belize,” McAfee said.
Earlier Sunday, McAfee’s attorney Telesforo Guerra said he filed papers seeking permission for his client to be allowed to remain in Guatemala on migrant status.
McAfee’s request last week for asylum was denied because he entered Guatemala illegally while fleeing Belizean police.
Authorities in Belize want to question him bout the death of 52-year-old Florida expatriate Gregory Faull, who was found by his housekeeper with a 9-mm bullet in his head, lying in a pool of his own blood.
McAfee, 67, insists he had nothing to do with the killing on the palm-fringed island of Ambergris Caye, where both men lived.
His lawyer has said McAfee was targeted by Belizean police and was a “victim of persecution and harassment.”
McAfee said he also fears that the authorities in Belize will mistreat him and steal his fortune.
“It is clear… that I can not ever return to Belize,” McAfee said Sunday. “There is no hope for my life if I am returned to Belize.”
No charges have been filed against McAfee, who was embroiled in a bitter dispute with the deceased and has so far only been declared a “person of interest” in the case. He spent several weeks in hiding to avoid police questioning.
Guerra said McAfee is scheduled for a medical evaluation Monday, after he was taken to the hospital last week for what at the time was feared to be a heart attack. Doctors later released McAfee after determining he was suffering from anxiety and high blood pressure.
He said Sunday that he had just suffered a bout of lightheadedness.
“At 67 years old, your health is not the best no matter what,” McAfee said.
“However, it is improving. The problem I had the other day is, I did not eat for two days, I drank very little liquids, and for the first time in many years I’ve been smoking almost non-stop.
“I stood up, passed out, hit my head on the wall, and came to in total confusion. I am fine now.”