Antivirus creator John McAfee was found dead in his prison cell in Barcelona aged 75, after the Spanish high court had authorised his extradition to the US, the Catalan justice department said. In a statement obtained by Reuters news agency, the department said “everything points” that it could have been a death by suicide.
What was John McAfee charged with?
Earlier on Wednesday, the high court had agreed to extradite Mr McAfee back to the US, where he faced tax evasion charges.
Mr McAfee was arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020.
Since then, he had been held in custody in Brians 2 jail in Sant Esteve Sesrovires.
He 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
However, the Spanish prosecutor, Carlos Bautista, dismissed the accusation of a political motivation.
Mr Bautista insisted the Libertarian Party rarely gains more than one percent of votes in elections in the US.
US federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment in October against Mr McAfee over charges that he evaded taxes and wilfully failed to file returns.
This came shortly after the US Securities and Exchange Commission said it had brought civil charges against Mr McAfee, alleging he made over $23.1 million in undisclosed income from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.
The Spanish court authorised the extradition, however, Mr McAfee was only to face charges related to his tax returns for 2016, 2017 and 2018 as the prosecution had requested.
Prior to his death, Mr McAfee still had the option of appealing against the court’s extradition authorisation, according to Reuters.
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