After John McAfee, the controversial antivirus software magnate, was found dead in his cell in a prison near Barcelona on Wednesday, his widow said her husband was not suicidal and blamed US authorities for “this tragedy.”
After being charged with tax evasion in the United States last year, the 75-year-old McAfee was awaiting extradition to the United Kingdom.
Janice McAfee demanded a full investigation, saying she wanted “answers as to how this happened.”
Janice McAfee, speaking to reporters outside the prison on Friday, demanded a thorough investigation and “answers as to how this was able to happen.”
A spokeswoman for Catalonia’s Superior Court told CNN this week that the cause of McAfee’s death is still being investigated.
Janice McAfee’s lawyer, Javier Villalba, told reporters on Friday that his client is awaiting the results of the official autopsy and that the family has requested a second, independent autopsy.
“I blame the US authorities for this tragedy. Because of these politically motivated charges against him. My husband is now dead,” Janice said during a statement.
“His last words to me were: I love you and I will call you in the evening” Janice said. “He would have never quit this way, he would never take his life in this way, ever.”
McAfee died after a three-judge panel at Spain’s National Court in Madrid ruled this week that he could be extradited to the US to face charges there. According to court documents, that decision could have been appealed to a larger panel of judges at the same court.
Janice said Friday that the Spanish court’s decision to extradite him was not unexpected, and that they had a strategy in place to appeal the decision.
McAfee had a cell mate at the prison, but that person was not present when McAfee was discovered dead, according to a prison official who did not want to be identified. The official went on to say that the other person was at the prison doing normal things.
“I’m not aware of that,” the official said when asked if authorities had imposed special monitoring measures on McAfee in his cell.
McAfee was arrested in Spain in October after being charged with tax evasion in the United States a few months before. According to court documents, he allegedly failed to file taxes for four years despite earning millions of dollars from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary between 2014 and 2018. The indictment did not specify the amount he owed.
His extradition to face tax charges for the years 2016, 2017, and 2018 was approved by Spanish judges.
McAfee, the founder of the eponymous antivirus software company with which he is no longer affiliated, was also charged with fraud and money laundering in March. According to the US Department of Justice, he and a business partner were involved in a scheme to defraud unwitting investors out of more than $13 million by falsely promoting cryptocurrencies.