John McAfee, the software pioneer who is on the run from the authorities in Belize, has denied killing his neighbour but ruled out handing himself in, because he believes the police would kill him.
In his latest interview with US media since going on the run, McAfee, the founder of the anti-virus company that bears his name, told CNBC that he would fight allegations of involvement in the death of Gregory Viant Faull “as long as I’m still breathing”.
Faull, an American businessman, was found dead at his home in San Pedro last weekend with a gunshot wound to his head. Police in Belize have described McAfee as a “person of interest” in the crime. The two men are believed to have quarrelled regarding several dogs kept by McAfee at his home.
McAfee has said that four of his animals were poisoned late last week and that he now believes Belize government agents or police were responsible.
Speaking to CNBC on Friday, the American said that he had nothing to do with Faull’s murder, but that he had gone on the run out of fear of his life. He claimed that if he turned himself in to the authorities he would be taken to police cells. “This is where [people] frequently disappear,” he said, speaking from an undisclosed location.
Asked if he truly believed he would be killed by Belize authorities, he replied: “Absolutely I do.”
“Things do not operate here as they do in the States. We are living in a near dictatorship where the legal system is subservient to the cabinet.”
McAfee said that he lived in fear of Belize’s notorious Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), an arm of the police that has been accused of abuses.
The conversation with CNBC was the latest contact McAfee has had with American journalists since going on the run. Earlier in the week, he told the Associated Press: “The GSU will do what the GSU does, beat me soundly until I confess to a multitude of sins, including I guess the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, and then just execute me.”
He also claimed that he “barely knew” Faull, the owner of a Florida-based construction business. “He was a heavy drinker and an annoyance. But the world is full of annoyances. If we killed all of our annoyances, there would be nobody left,” said McAfee, 67.
The British-born computer programmer built up a personal fortune as the founder of McAfee anti-virus software. He moved to Belize in 2008. But it is believed that his wealth has dwindled in recent years. There has also been concern over McAfee’s mental health. In the interview with CNBC, he brushed off reports that he had played Russian roulette with a loaded gun. “My point was life isn’t exactly what you see,” he said.
Responding to some of the fugitive’s claims earlier in the week, Belize’s prime minister, Dean Barrow, said: “I don’t want to be unkind to the gentleman, but I believe he is extremely paranoid, even bonkers.”
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk
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