John McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus software, was found dead in his cell in a jail in Spain on Wednesday, 23 June, The Associated Press (AP) reported. He was 75 years old.
The death of the business tycoon, who was facing criminal charges over tax fraud in the United States, came just hours after a Spanish court made public a ruling in favour of his extradition to the US.
According to AP, the jail security personnel tried to revive him, but the medical team certified his death, a statement from the regional Catalan government said.
A judicial delegation is now investigating the cause of death, with the preliminary findings pointing to suicide, the government reportedly said.
While the statement didn’t identify McAfee by name and only said the dead man was a “75-year-old US citizen awaiting extradition to his country”, sources in the Catalan government told AP that the dead inmate was McAfee.
Why Was McAfee in Jail?
In October last year, McAfee was slapped with charges in Tennessee for evading taxes after failing to report income from promoting cryptocurrencies, his speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary. He was then arrested in the same month at Barcelona’s international airport and had been awaiting the outcome of the extradition trial.
The court's ruling, given on Monday, 21 June, was made public on Wednesday, 23 June, and could be appealed and any final extradition order would still need approval from the Spanish Cabinet.
Earlier this month, McAfee in a hearing in the Spanish court had called the charges against him in the US as politically motivated.
If the charges were proved in the US, McAfee was staring at a jail sentence of up to 30 years, AP reported.
(With inputs from The Associated Press.)
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