By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 09, 2012 11:35 AM EST
Software guru John McAfee is feeling better after being hospitalized for chest pain, but might end up spending the holidays in prison.
McAfee's request for political asylum in Guatemala was denied, but the tech billionaire ex-fugitive hopes to remain in the country. Attorney Telesforo Guerra, who is also the uncle of McAfee's 20-year-old girlfriend, told reporters outside the detention center where McAfee is being held that McAfee is now in good health.
Moreover, Guerra further told reporters that his team is filing four separate legal appeals in a bid to prevent McAfee's return to Belize, where police want to question him regarding the murder of another U.S. expatriate, Gregory Faull. Guerra expects McAfee to stay in Guatemala until at least Monday, Dec. 10.
McAfee said he was not involved in the shooting of Faull, his neighbor on a Belizean island, and argued that authorities are persecuting him because he holds sensitive information about official corruption.
McAfee was detained in Guatemala for entering the country illegally, and was denied political asylum. The day after being detained, McAfee was rushed to a police hospital with apparent heart problems. Despite conflicting reports that the 67-year-old antivirus pioneer had suffered two heart attacks, the hospital's legal head of medical services said the patient showed "a syndrome of anxiety and hypertension." With so much drama, that's not really surprising.
Meanwhile, denying McAfee's request for political asylum in Guatemala clears the way for deportation to Belize, where he is a person of interest in the murder of Faull.
"He entered the country illegally and we are going to seek his expulsion for this crime," Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told Reuters.
According to the Associated Press, however, McAfee's legal team said they were preparing to appeal to the constitutional court, which would have 48 hours to issue its ruling.
"Basically, he has been granted extra time for a different judge to review the case," said Brian Fitzgerald, a spokesman for McAfee. "The U.S. Embassy cannot do much right now. A bit of a waiting game for now. He is asking for support so that he will not be sent back to Belize. I think he is a bit worried right now," added Fitzgerald.
McAfee has been blogging from jail, using a computer apparently loaned to him by a warden. In a post on his blog, the software guru urged people to support his political asylum request and send emails to Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, begging him to allow the court system to proceed and determine his status in the country. In a series of blog posts published Thursday, Dec. 6, McAfee said that a stay order was issued so a higher judge would review his case.
McAfee's arrest comes after one of the most bizarre international manhunts of the modern day. McAfee managed to elide Belize authorities for 23 days, but posted blog entries all along, detailing his days on the run. McAfee fought his side of the battle armed with a Twitter account, dozens of cell phone accounts, and several tech journalist handlers.
McAfee has not been charged with murder, but he is a person of interest and is awaited to answer questions regarding the shooting of Faull. National Belize Police spokesman Raphael Martinez said that police do not have any suspects in the case so far, but believe that McAfee could have useful information about the case. Meanwhile, McAfee might be spending Christmas in jail until things get sorted out.
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