A Spanish judge ruled Wednesday that the death of computer antivirus developer John McAfee in a Catalonia prison was a suicide after a new post-mortem report and ordered the case shelved.
McAfee's body had been found dead in his cell at Can Brians prison, where he was awaiting extradition to the United States to face tax evasion charges. He was 75 years old.
After McAfee's family doubted he had taken his own life, a court in Martorell (Barcelona) opened an investigation and agreed to the request of his relatives for a new autopsy, which confirmed it had been a suicide. The case was ordered to be shelved, but the family announced an appeal against the judge's decision would be filed before a higher court in Barcelona. Pending this appeal, the body will remain in the local morgue, where it has been for the last seven and a half months.
McAfee was arrested in October 2020 at the El Prat de Llobregat airport in Barcelona when he was about to take a flight to Istanbul. During the extradition hearing, the businessman, whose tax debt in the United States amounted to more than US $ 4 million for activities such as trading cryptocurrencies, claimed to have paid millions of dollars in taxes and said that he was a victim of persecution for having denounced corruption in the tax bureau.
McAfee had tweeted Nov. 30, 2019 that he would not kill himself. In an appearance from prison Oct. 4, 2020, he said that he was happy in jail. “I have friends. The food is good” and insisted he would not hang himself like disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
According to US court sources, the British-born McAfee had made millions from Bitcoin trading, consulting work, various speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary, despite which no tax returns were filed between 2014 and 2018.
McAfee's advice on cryptocurrency was widely appreciated on social media.