John McAfee Update: Anti-virus guru hospitalized in Guatemala after being denied asylum
(CBS/AP) GUATEMALA CITY - Software company founder John McAfee was briefly hospitalized Thursday as his lawyers try to develop a plan to keep him from flying back to Belize for questioning about his neighbor's death.
McAfee, 67, was moved from an immigration center to a police-run hospital on Thursday afternoon after Guatemalan authorities said McAfee's request for asylum was denied. They did not explain why.
McAfee told The Associated Press that he suffered chest pains overnight but didn't believe he had a heart attack. A government doctor who examined him agreed, saying that McAfee's heart rhythm and blood pressure were normal and that he appeared to be suffering from high stress.
He was released from the hospital and taken back to the detention center Thursday night. McAfee was initially taken to the center after his arrest for illegally entering the country.
Shortly after the decision to deny him asylum was announced, McAfee issued a plea on his blog for the public to petition Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina to let him stay.
"Please email the President of Guatemala and beg him to allow the court system to proceed, to determine my status in Guatemala, and please support the political asylum that I am asking for," the post read.
McAfee's legal team said they were preparing to appeal the denial of asylum to the country's constitutional court, in which the court would have to issue a decision within 48 hours. The process could give McAfee perhaps another day or two in Guatemala.
Belizean police spokesman Raphael Martinez said officials expected McAfee to be flown back to his country's capital, where police want to question him about the fatal shooting of Gregory Faull, who died early November on the Belize island where both men lived.
McAfee said U.S. Embassy officials told him they couldn't help his request to be returned to the United States instead of Belize. McAfee said he formally requested asylum in Guatemala because he fears for his safety in Belize because he has sensitive information about official corruption and refused to donate to local politicians.
His Guatemalan lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, warned Wednesday night that McAfee's life would be in danger if he is sent back to Belize.
"He will be in danger if he is returned to Belize, where he has denounced authorities," Guerra said. "From the moment he asked for asylum he has to have the protection of the Guatemalan government."
Belizean police denied they are persecuting McAfee and said there is no warrant for his arrest. The country's prime minister has questioned McAfee's mental state.
McAfee went on the run last month after officials tried to question him about the Faull's shooting death. While he acknowledges that his dogs were bothersome and that Faull had complained about them, McAfee denies killing Faull. Faull's home was a couple of houses down from McAfee's compound.
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