Vulnerabilities / Threats
11:14 AM

McAfee To Be Released From Guatemalan Prison

Antivirus founder's lawyer said a Guatemalan judge will rule that McAfee was illegally detained, paving the way for his return to the United States.

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Antivirus founder John McAfee is set to be released from a Guatemalan jail.

Telesforo Guerra, McAfee's lawyer in Guatemala, told the Los Angeles Times Tuesday that Guatemalan Judge Judith Secaida verbally said to him that she plans to rule that McAfee had been illegally incarcerated.

Guerra said McAfee would be released as soon as the court could process the judge's written instructions, which would likely happen Thursday or Friday. "It's a victory because the government wanted to send him back to Belize," he told the newspaper via phone. "With this kind of resolution, they cannot do it."

[Read 6 Wacky McAfee Facts: From Guatemala, With Twists.]

By Wednesday, McAfee's blog posted a message saying that McAfee would be released at 9 a.m. local time that day from the immigration facility in which he's currently incarcerated in Guatemala City.

According to Guerra, Guatemalan law grants anyone who enters the country 10 days to settle their immigration status. "There is no crime in coming without any visa," he said. "If there's not any crime, the immigration office has to release him."

McAfee Tuesday told Britain's Sky News that he was "100% certain" that he'd soon be leaving Guatemala for the United States. He's stated multiple times that he planned to relocate there with his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sam Vanegas.

McAfee, who's resided in Belize since 2008, was arrested last week in Guatemala on immigration violation charges. But he posted regular blog updates, in part to criticize the Belize government for corruption, as well as for attempting to frame him for the murder of his American neighbor, Gregory Viant Faull, 52.

Belize prime minister Dean Barrow has denied those charges, and instead criticized McAfee for his "extremely paranoid" and "bonkers" behavior. Furthermore, Belizean police investigators are maintaining that McAfee is a "person of interest" in their murder investigation, saying they want to question him. No charges, however, have been filed against McAfee.

It's been a busy week for McAfee, who announced that he's sold the rights to his life story. He also said Tuesday that he would be ending his relationship with Vice magazine, which had filmed his three-week flight from Belize to Guatemala over land and by boat.

Shortly after landing, Vice published a story, titled "We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers," which included an iPhone photograph showing two of its journalists with McAfee, but declining to name their location. The EXIF data attached to the photograph, however, showed that it had been taken in Guatemala, and according to McAfee, that mishap led directly to his arrest.

"Due to information just received, It is no longer clear to Mr. McAfee that the 'accidental' release of his co-ordinates due to Vice Magazine's editorial department's failure to remove location data from their now notorious photo, was indeed an accident," according to a post to McAfee's blog made by "Harold M.," who's described on the blog only as "a close friend of Mr McAfee."

"This incident led directly to Mr. McAfee's arrest," according to the post. "The reason, possibly, was that Vice wanted exclusive access to Mr. McAfee's arrest, which they in fact obtained and broadcast. This, and subsequent developments, including a breach of verbal contract, has led Mr. McAfee to terminate all contact with Vice."

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User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2012 | 8:13:33 PM
re: McAfee To Be Released From Guatemalan Prison
Do the reporter shave any IT knowledge at all. Really they are going to upload a pic from their mobile phone and didnGÇÖt know that it disclosed the pics location? McAfee allowed them to snap he shot also, that was not to smart considering he is in hiding and the pic led to his arrest! So what is the outcome of McAfee?

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
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