US anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee, who is fighting deportation to Belize, has been rushed to hospital in Guatemala after he was denied political asylum.
McAfee was moved from an immigration centre to a police-run hospital on Thursday afternoon and his lawyer said he had suffered two mild heart attacks.
He was arrested on Wednesday after crossing illegally into Guatemala from neighbouring Belize, where police want to question him in connection with his neighbour’s murder.
Guatemala refused to grant the 67-year-old asylum and said he would be deported back to Belize.
Shortly after the decision was announced, McAfee issued a plea on his blog for the public to petition Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina to let him stay.
After examining McAfee, a government doctor said his heart rhythm and blood pressure were normal and that he appeared to be suffering from high stress.
On the run
The multimillionaire went on the run from Belize last month after officials tried to question him about the fatal shooting of Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot to death in early November on the island where both men lived.
Faull’s home was a couple of houses down from the compound where McAfee kept several noisy dogs and armed guards and entertained a steady stream of young women brought in from the mainland.
McAfee acknowledges that his dogs were bothersome and that Faull had complained about them, but denies killing Faull.
Several of the dogs were poisoned shortly before Faull’s killing. McAfee has denied any wrongdoing and said he was being persecuted for refusing to donate to local politicians.
He dropped out of sight for weeks after police said they were seeking him, although he grabbed global attention by recounting his life on the run through a blog and regular phone calls with reporters.
McAfee says he has been persecuted by Belize’s ruling party because he refused to pay around $2m he says it is
trying to hustle out of him.
Belizean officials have denied persecuting McAfee, and the country’s prime minister has said he suspects McAfee is mentally unstable. Police in Belize say there is no warrant for McAfee’s arrest but they want to quiz him as “a person of
interest” over the killing.
McAfee has led an eccentric life since he sold his stake in the anti-virus software company that is named after him in the early 1990s and moved to Belize about three years ago to lower his taxes.
He told The New York Times in 2009 that he had lost all but $4m of his $100m fortune in the US financial crisis.