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article imageJohn McAfee seeks asylum in Guatemala

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 5, 2012 in World
Guatemala City - Internet software entrepreneur John McAfee, appeared in public in Guatemala Tuesday for the first time since he went into hiding from the Belizean authorities, saying he is seeking asylum in Guatemala because of fears for his safety in Belize.
The AP reports that McAfee spoke to its reporter in a restaurant near a hotel he was staying in Guatemala City after he slipped out of Belize. Digital Journal reports Belize police had declared him a "person of interest" in the November 11 death of fellow American ex-pat and businessman Gregory Viant Faull, 52. Faull was found dead in his home near San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.
However, no warrant was issued for McAfee's arrest, and McAfee insists that he is "absolutely innocent."
AP notes that it is unclear why McAfee is seeking asylum in Guatemala since there are no restrictions on his movement outside Belize. But some observers say there may be reasons connected to the case of murder for which he is on the run from the Belizean police why McAfee does not want to come to the US.
McAfee has alleged that he is being sought by the Belizean police because he has "sensitive information" about official corruption in the country. He has hired a well-known Guatemalan lawyer Telesforo Guerra, former attorney general of Guatemala, to assist him. He said: "I need a safe place where I can actually speak out. Now that I'm here I can speak freely. I can speak openly."
However, the Belizean police have denied they are persecuting McAfee or that they are seeking him because of information he has about corrupt officials in the country.
Digital Journal reports that Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow, had suggested that McAfee might be mentally unstable, saying, "I don't want to be unkind to the gentleman, but I believe he is extremely paranoid, even bonkers."
McAfee said he would petition the Guatemalan government for asylum in the county. He insisted that he could be killed if he turns himself in to the Belizean authorities. He said: "Belize does not have a good track record of providing safety when they ask to question you. I felt much more secure crossing the border into a country that had laws that were backed by the justice system."
Given the circumstances in which McAfee remained in "hiding" in Belize, and his escape from the country, it unclear that the Belizean police had actually tried to find him after he refused to turn himself in. The Belizean authorities issued no warrant for his arrest. It stretches the imagination to believe that the Belizean police had been unable to track down a man "hiding" in plain sight.
In an email to the AP, McAfee confirmed a posting to his whoismcafe blog in which he described a ruse he employed in his escape:
"My `double,' carrying on (sic) a North Korean passport under my name, was detained in Mexico for pre-planned misbehavior, but due to indifference on the part of authorities (he) was evicted from the jail and was unable to serve his intended purpose in our exit plan."
It is uncertain what he means or whether the incident he describes really happened.
McAfee explained that he had not planned to leave Guatemala but he became concerned about his Belizean companion "Sam," a young woman who had lived with him and with whom he went into "hiding."
However, in a strange twist to the story, CNN reports Belizean authorities think McAfee could still be in Belize. Raphael Martinez, spokesman for the Belize Police Department, said "We're not even sure he's left Belize. He said a lot of things. The police feel he's still here in Belize. It's difficult to pinpoint what he will say next or what he will do next. I still question his frame of mind. I think the best thing is for him to come in and answer a couple of questions."
Martinez said in the interview with CNN: "I think he really wants to make this into a great fiasco. He's really gone out of his way to make the country look bad, and we just believe he should, if he's innocent as he's saying he is, he should bring in his lawyer, and let's get to the bottom of this and say what he needs to say and let's move on. I'm sure he could be somebody who could direct the course of this investigation."
On his website, McAfee said: "I apologize for all of the misdirections over the past few days. It was not easy to exit Belize and required many supporters in many countries."
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