Statement recorded for me by John McAfee
A computer software millionaire who police want to talk to about a murder has called a journalist in the Western Isles and asked him to help publicise his plight. Belize-based John McAfee is thought to be in hiding there since April after the authorities said he had been manufacturing methamphetamine while he claims he is a victim of corruption by police and authorities.
While those allegations have since been dropped, police now want to interview the 67-year-old boss of the antivirus software company McAfee in connection with the death of a neighbour, Gregor Faull, 52, who was found shot dead after an alleged argument with McAfee.
On Monday, John McAfee phoned Stornoway-based journalist Iain X Maciver and recorded a radio statement with him protesting his innocence. English-born McAfee claims he is being set up by the Belizean government and has launched an appeal for the international community to put pressure on the authorities there to explain what actual evidence they have for these allegations.
He is reported to have hid in the sand when he saw police coming to his house a week last Sunday and had put a cardboard box over his head to breathe. He also told a technology magazine that in his desperation to avoid detection he spent Monday night on a mattress infested with lice. McAfee said he was afraid of police planting incriminating evidence like guns or ‘four tons of cocaine.’
He maintains that he heard Faull had been shot but believes it was a case of mistaken identity. It was McAfee himself the gunman wanted to kill, he reckons. There have been claims online and in some newspapers that McAfee had bought drugs on the internet and was working in a makeshift laboratory to purify them. He strongly denies those claims.
On his blog, McAfee has been claiming he is still in Belize and has become a master of disguise walking around and watching the police hunting him. A spokesman for Belize’s Ministry of National Security told the Associated Press news agency that they want McAfee to talk to the authorities. He said: “If he feels threatened, we need to tell him,’Get someone to go along with you, but come in. Let’s solve this crime and you can free yourself’.”
A week on Sunday, Gregor Faull was found with a gunshot wound to his head inside his two-storey home north of San Pedro, a small town on the island of Ambergris Caye. A housekeeper found his body.
Yesterday afternoon (Monday) McAfee phoned Western Isles freelance journalist Iain Maciver and sent him a recorded statement in which he proclaimed his innocence. In it, he said he was completely innocent of the charges which the international press had accused him of. In the recorded statement, McAfee said: “I live in a country, Belize, which has devolved politically into a near-dictatorship where justice does not exist.” He said he had set up a blog and was telling his side of the story through it. The software pioneer concluded: “Please, all people of conscience, if you have an interest in the murder of Gregor Faull and the injustices in Belize, go to my blog.”
Iain Maciver, who is based in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, said: “An American journalist friend suggested that some reports about McAfee were not very impartial, that he might appreciate an unbiased radio interview and that perhaps I should drop him an email. I did that and was a bit surprised when the millionaire fugitive himself phoned me at lunchtime on Monday. He said he was in Belize but I cannot verify that.
“As he is only wanted for questioning and has been charged with no actual offences, I decided I should do it. In the event, we were unable to do a full interview because of technical difficulties, but John McAfee did record the statement (above) which I have sent to the broadcast media.
“It’s not every day that a multi-millionaire phones up asking for my help – never mind one who is wanted in connection with a murder.”