Update 4:12 p.m.: After leaving a Guatemalan detention center, John McAfee is headed home. He's made it clear he does not want to go back to Belize, but coming to America, well, thems also the rules, say Guatemalan authorities. "Complying with migration law, Mr. John McAfee is to be deported to his country of origin," said Fernando Lucero, a spokesman for Guatemala's immigration office told Reuters. He was escorted to the airport and just boarded a plane to Miami. Get ready, people. Here he comes.
Original Post: John McAfee's blog reports that he was leaving a detention center this morning in Guatemala, where the government had planned on sending him back to Belize, where police would likely arrest him in connection to the murder of his neighbor Gregory Faull. But the rogue anti-virus tycoon with a story crazy enough to get a movie version will get his freedom — thanks in no small part to the lawyer he hired while on the lam with his now former friends at Vice magazine.
A Guatemalan judge ruled late Tuesday that McAfee had been detained illegally, reports The Los Angeles Times's Christine Mai Duc. Initially, he had been charged with coming into the country illegally, and when McAfee had asked for asylum the government denied that request, too. At that point, it looked like he would head back to Belize. Then came the (possibly) staged heart attacks, which bought his new lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, enough time to convince a judge otherwise. Apparently, entering Guatemala without a visa does not break any laws, argued Guerra. A judge agreed and here we are, with McAfee's people claiming that "it is believed he will be allowed to return to the United States," while adding, obviously, that "he has not divulged his plans."
The homecoming would be a continued change of heart for the mogul who first claimed he wanted to head back to Belize to fix the government corruption there, then changed his mind. He's tired, after all. But not tired enough to accuse Vice, the magazine that had linked-up with McAfee during his escape from Belize, of orchestrating his Guatemalan arrest. The following appeared on his always-entertaining blog last night:
It is no longer clear to Mr. McAfee that the “accidental” release of his co-ordinates due to Vice Magazine’s editorial department’s failure to remove location data from their now notorious photo, was indeed an accident. This incident led directly to Mr. McAfee’s arrest. The reason, possibly, was that Vice wanted exclusive access to Mr. McAfee’s arrest, which they in fact obtained and broadcast. This, and subsequent developments, including a breach of verbal contract, has led Mr. McAfee to terminate all contact with Vice.
Maybe that's true, maybe not. McAfee has a history with paranoia. He also has a history of cozying up to reporters and then getting mad when they didn't do or write exactly what he wants. In any case, if McAfee wants to stay in the spotlight, he probably shouldn't burn every last media bridge. We still does have to get home, after all — and surely he'll want someone to document it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.