MADRID — Spanish authorities say a judge has ordered an autopsy on the remains of John McAfee, gun-savvy antivirus pioneer, cryptocurrency promoter and occasional politician, for allegedly evading millions in unpaid taxes combined. He had died in a cell pending extradition to the United States. .
A spokesman for the Catalonia region’s court said Thursday that a forensic team would need to conduct toxicology tests on McAfee’s body to determine the cause of death and that the results could take “days or weeks”.
Authorities have said everything at the scene indicated that the 75-year-old tycoon killed himself.
The Inquisition is being handled by a court in Martorell, a town northwest of Barcelona, under the jurisdiction of the prison where McAfee died. The spokesperson was not authorized to be identified by name in media reports.
McAfee’s Spanish lawyer, Javier Villalba, said the entrepreneur’s death came as a surprise to his wife and other relatives, and that he would try to “get to the bottom” of his client’s death.
“It’s like pouring cold water on the family and their defense team,” Villalba told The Associated Press on Thursday. “Nobody expected it, he didn’t say goodbye.”
Although Villalba said he had no evidence of any foul play, he blamed the death for “cruelty of the system” because he did not put the 75-year-old man behind bars for economic and blood-related crimes when judges had refused to release him on bail.
“We managed to quash seven of the 10 cases he was charged with and yet he was still the dangerous man who could have fled Spain if he was released?” The lawyer said. “He was a world renown, where could he hide?”
Spain’s national court ruled Monday that McAfee must be extradited to the US to face charges of theft worth more than $4 million from fiscal year 2016 to 2018. The judge dropped seven of the 10 cases in the initial indictment.
Villalba said McAfee learned of the decision soon after Monday and that he died on Wednesday not in the heat of the moment. He also said that the legal team was preparing an appeal to avoid extradition with him.
An atonement source told the AP that McAfee was sharing a cell at Brian 2 Prison, where he had been held in preventive custody since he was arrested on a US warrant in October last year, but was alone at the time of his death. .
Prosecutors in Tennessee accused McAfee of failing to report proceeds from promoting cryptocurrency while selling the proceeds he earned from consulting work, speaking engagements, and the rights to his life story for a documentary. The criminal charges carried sentences of up to 30 years in prison.
The British-born entrepreneur led a quaint life after selling his stake in the antivirus software company of his namesake in the early 1990s. He scored twice the long-shot run for the US presidency.
McAfee often expressed his love for drugs and guns in public comments. And some of his actions landed him in legal trouble beyond Tennessee, from Central America to the Caribbean. In 2012, he was sought for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor in Belize, but he was never charged with the crime.