From the Guatemalan detention center where he has been staying after being arrested on 5 December, John McAfee this weekend held a virtual news conference to address questions from the press.
Speaking in a slow, metered voice through a grainy computer video, the anti-virus pioneer offered an update on his situation, attempted to crack a couple of jokes, and continued to deny that he was involved in the shooting death of his neighbor in Belize.
The opening video, allowed McAfee about four minutes to explain the conference format — media questions sent to a specific email address were chosen and answered in a later broadcast. An hour later, a shadowy McAfee sifted through 25 questions, offering his response to each one.
The first: "Did I kill Mr. Faull?"
McAfee reitered his innocence in the death of Gregory Faull, a 52-year-old American expatriate. McAfee continued reading emailed queries, some of which wondered what McAfee's month-long effort to evade Belizean authorities has been like, and others that questioned McAfee's recreational behaviors.
"Do I take bath salts?" McAfee read, explaining what the new, cheap drug is before stating that he does not take drugs, nor does he drink alcohol. He has, however, reverted to smoking heavily in the past few weeks, he admitted — perhaps a culprit in his recent health problems.
Most questions related directly to the issue at hand, asking McAfee why he evaded the authorities and what his long term plan is. The mogul stuck to his story, explaining that he avoided the Belizean police because "I believed then and I believe even stronger now that the intent to question me has nothing to do with Mr. Faull's murder."
McAfee — often labeled as paranoid — said that the Belizean government has been trying to bring charges against him since April 2011, pointing to the eight raids he said the authorities conducted on his now-vacated house.
"I simply would like to live comfortably day-by-day," McAfee said about returning to his former home in the United States. "Fish, swim, enjoy my declining years. My long-term plan was simply get away from Belize, get some time, think, and then decide what to do."
Returning to the US, he said, is his only hope now; evading the government and blogging negatively about Belize has left a bad taste in the country's mouth. "The government was mad at me before," he said. "They are seriously mad at me now. There is no hope for my life if I ever return to Belize."
McAfee's lawyers are working to keep him in Guatemala until all legal appeals against deportation have been settled, which could take months, Reuters reported. The millionaire was arrested last week for illegally entering the country after he went on the run to avoid questioning about Faull's death. McAfee was denied Guatemalan asylum on Thursday, and was expected to be deported to the capital of Belize, but that has since been delayed.
Image credit: The Reporter (Belize) via YouTube