UPDATE 2-Widow of software entrepreneur John McAfee accuses US of death
(Added quotes, US Embassy commentary, report on suicide rate in Spanish prisons, background)
By Albert Gea and Joan Faus
SANT ESTEVE SESROVIRES, Spain, June 25 (Reuters) – The widow of US software mogul John McAfee on Friday accused US authorities of his death in a Spanish prison where he was awaiting extradition to the United States and said he was not suicidal.
Janice McAfee has said she wants a full investigation into the circumstances of the 75-year-old’s death in his prison cell on Wednesday in what authorities have called apparent suicide by hanging.
Dressed in black and wearing dark sunglasses, she told reporters outside Brians 2 prison in the Barcelona area, where her husband has been held since October, that she last spoke to him a few times. hours before he was found dead.
“Her last words to me were ‘I love you and I’ll call you in the evening’, those words are not words from someone who is suicidal,” she said, holding back tears.
“I blame the US authorities for this tragedy. Due to these politically motivated accusations against him, my husband is now dead,” she said, adding that he planned to appeal the decision of the High. Court of Spain, published a few hours before his death, according to which authorized his extradition for tax evasion.
A spokesperson for the United States Embassy said, “We are closely monitoring the local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death and are ready to provide all appropriate assistance to the family. ”
Britain’s McAfee, who launched the world’s first commercial antivirus in 1987, was arrested last October at Barcelona airport. He had lived for years on the run from US authorities, part of that time aboard a mega-yacht.
He was indicted in Tennessee for tax evasion and was indicted in a New York cryptocurrency fraud case.
Calling her husband a fighter who “was hopeful things would work out,” Janice McAfee added, “I don’t believe he did that, I’ll get answers.”
McAfee’s attorney, Javier Villalba, said the family are awaiting the results of an official autopsy, but that he will request a second independent autopsy as instructed by the McAfee family, who he says may file a lawsuit in justice once the death investigation is completed.
McAfee was sharing his cell with another inmate but was alone when he died, a prison source said.
The Ministry of Justice of Catalonia has opened an internal investigation into the death.
The suicide rate in Spanish prisons was classified as “very high” in a 2020 Council of Europe report, meaning it was more than 25% above the European median. In 2019, there were 8.4 suicides per 10,000 inmates in Spain. (Reporting by Albert Gea and Joan Faus; Additional reporting by Horaci Garcia, Catherine Macdonald and Emma Pinedo; Writing by Joan Faus and Inti Landauro; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alex Richardson)