John McAfee looked gaunt in his final court appearance and said the US government 'wants to make an example of me'
JOHN McAfee looked gaunt as he appeared in a Spanish court for the final time earlier this month and claimed that the US govenment "wants to make an example of me."
The tech guru, 75, pleaded with the Spanish court on June 15 not to allow for his extradition back to the US as he would spend the rest of his life in jail if convicted.
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"I am hoping that the Spanish court will see the injustice of this," McAfee told the hearing as he said that the charges against him were politically motivated.
"The United States wants to use me as an example."
The British-born pioneer died by suicide on Wednesday after reportedly hanging himself in his cell in Brians 2 Prison in Barcelona, his lawyer said.
It came only two days after the Spanish high court approved his extradition to the US on Monday.
McAfee's lawyer, Javier Villalba, said that while McAfee had the chance to appeal his extradition, the last nine months in prison had brought him to despair.
"This is the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long," Villalba added.
McAfee was arrested in October as he attempted to fly from Spain to Turkey on a British passport.
The controversial figure had been "on the run" since 2019 when he was charged in Tennessee with tax evasion.
He had admitted that year to not filing tax returns for eight years for idealogical reasons.
McAfee had lived on his yacht in international waters for much of this time.
He was joined by his wife Janice, their four dogs, two security guards, and seven members of staff.
While on the open seas, he offered to help Cuba avoid a US trade embargo using cryptocurrency and sought to run for the presidency with the Libertarian Party.
A judge has ordered an autopsy to determine McAfee's cause of death as his family question his suicide and claim that if he "took his own life we may never know why."
The autopsy could take "days or weeks" to come to a conclusion.
Relatives of the antivirus software pioneer referenced his own previous claims of "authorities trying to shut him up."
Shelley Uden exclusively told The Sun on Thursday she was "very sad" to hear of her cousin's death, adding "if he did take his own life, we may never know why.”
Shelley, 70, who lives with husband John in Gwent, Wales, told The Sun that she "heard about his death in prison on the main news last night."
"It came as quite a shock," she said.
Villalba said the entrepreneur’s death came as a surprise to his wife and other relatives, adding he would seek to get “to the bottom” of his client’s death.
It comes as it emerges that while McAfee had been sharing a jail cell in the prison since he was placed in preventative detention since his October arrest, he was reportedly alone at the time of his death, AP reports.
Only three days before his death, McAfee's former prostitute wife Janice had claimed authorities were "determined" he would die in prison in a chilling Father's Day message.
It followed years of McAfee making his own claims that he was being targeted as he alleged that he had compiled files about "corruption" in governments.
He said that he had been receiving "subtle messages" from US officials threatening him.
The entrepreneur had also previously compared himself to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as he claimed that he would never die by suicide.
Epstein was also found dead in a prison cell in 2019.
“If I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine," he wrote in an October 2020 tweet.
McAfee made millions after creating the world's first commercial anti-virus, that still bears his name, in 1987.
He claimed that he fathered at least 47 children and met his wife Janice after she solicited him as a prostitute.
The couple claimed that she was paid to spy on and poison him by crime lords.
As well as facing tax evasion charges, McAfee also had a run-in with law enforcement in Belize where he was wanted for questioning after his neighbor was murdered in 2012.
Police ultimately said he was not a suspect in the death.
He was also charged with a cryptocurrency fraud case in New York in March.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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