Software guru McAfee says he will seek asylum in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY Wed Dec 5, 2012 4:25am IST

The home of anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee is seen in San Pedro November 14, 2012. REUTERS/Henry Romero

The home of anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee is seen in San Pedro November 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Henry Romero

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GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - U.S. anti-virus software guru John McAfee, who is on the run from police in Belize seeking to question him in a murder probe, has crossed into Guatemala and said on Tuesday he will seek political asylum there.

McAfee has been in hiding for three weeks since police in Belize said they wanted to question him as "a person of interest" about the murder of fellow American Gregory Faull, with whom McAfee had quarreled.

McAfee smuggled himself and his girlfriend, Samantha, across the porous land border Belize shares with Guatemala. He stayed at a hotel in a national park before heading for Guatemala City on Monday evening.

"I have no plans much for the future now. The reason I chose Guatemala is two-fold," McAfee told Reuters by telephone from Guatemala's Supreme Court, flanked by his lawyer, former attorney general and lawyer Telesforo Guerra.

"It is a country bordering Belize, it is a country that understands the corruption within Belize and most importantly, the former attorney general of the country is Samantha's uncle and I knew that he would assist us with legal proceedings."

McAfee had told Reuters on Monday he would not turn himself in.

"(Guerra) is now attempting to get political asylum for myself and for Sam. I don't there will be much of a problem. From here I can speak freely and safely," McAfee said.

McAfee says he believes authorities in Belize would kill him if he turned himself in for questioning. Belize's prime minister has denied the claim and called the 67-year-old paranoid and "bonkers."

Residents of the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye where McAfee has lived for about four years and others who know him describe him as an eccentric, impulsive man who quit a career as a successful entrepreneur in the United States for a life of semi-seclusion in the former pirate haven of Belize.

(Writing by Simon Gardner; Editing by Kieran Murray and Eric Walsh)

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