Lawyer: McAfee better, hopes to stay in Guatemala
Software company founder John McAfee lies on a gurney inside an ambulance, to be transferred from an immigration detention center to a hospital, in Guatemala City, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. / AP Photo/Moises Castillo
GUATEMALA CITY A lawyer for software company founder John McAfee said Friday that the self-styled fugitive is feeling better after suffering chest pain and that he has filed three separate legal appeals in hopes his client can stay in Guatemala, where his political asylum request was rejected.
Attorney Telesforo Guerra told reporters outside the detention center where McAfee is being held that the creator of the McAfee antivirus program is in good health.
Guerra said he filed an appeal for a judge to make sure McAfee's physical integrity is protected, an appeal against the asylum denial and a petition with immigration officials to allow his client to stay in this Central American country indefinitely.
Police in neighboring Belize want to question McAfee in the fatal shooting of a U.S. expatriate who lived near his home on a Belizean island. McAfee has denied involvement in the killing and says Belizean authorities are persecuting him because he knows about official corruption.
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The appeals could take several days to resolve, Guerra said. He added that he could still use several other legal resources but wouldn't give any other details.
Fredy Viana, a spokesman for the Immigration Department, said that before the agency looks into the request to allow McAfee to stay in Guatemala, a judge must first deal with the appeal asking that authorities make sure McAfee's physical integrity is protected.
"We won't look into (allowing him to stay) until the other appeal is resolved," Viana said. "The law gives me 30 days to resolve the issue."
McAfee went on the run last month after Belizean officials tried to question him about the killing of Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot to death in early November.
McAfee acknowledges that his dogs were bothersome and that Faull had complained about them, but denies killing Faull. Faull's home was a couple of houses down from McAfee's compound in Ambergris Caye.
McAfee has led an eccentric life since he sold his stake in the anti-virus software company that is named after him in the early 1990s and moved to Belize about three years ago to lower his taxes.
He told The New York Times in 2009 that he had lost all but $4 million of his $100 million fortune in the U.S. financial crisis. However, a story on the Gizmodo website quoted him as describing that claim as "not very accurate at all."
He has dabbled in yoga, ultra-light aircraft and the production of herbal medications.
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