Fugitive John McAfee flees Belize for Guatemala

Media caption,
The computer software millionaire, John McAfee, is seeking political asylum in Guatemala.

The founder of anti-virus software maker McAfee has crossed into Guatemala to seek political asylum.

John McAfee has been on the run in Belize following a police investigation into the murder of his neighbour.

Belize officials said the software pioneer was a "person of interest" in the death of Florida businessman Gregory Faull on 11 November.

The American has protested his innocence in an online blog and says he has been "harassed" by police.

Appearing in public for the first time in weeks on Tuesday, Mr McAfee and his lawyer said he would petition the Guatemalan government to stay there.

The multi-millionaire fugitive reportedly checked into the five star Villa Real hotel in Guatemala City after sneaking out of Belize. The hotel told the BBC that he checked out at 11:00 local time (17:00 GMT).

He has hired a high-profile Guatemalan lawyer and told reporters: "Now that I'm here I can speak freely, I can speak openly".

"Belize does not have a good track record of providing safety when they ask to question you. I felt much more secure crossing the border," Mr McAfee added.

Eccentric lifestyle

The 67-year old had earlier revealed that in order to go unnoticed, he changed his appearance by dying his hair and beard, sticking chewed bubble gum to his upper gums to fatten his face and staining his teeth.

Mr McAfee has blogged and spoken to journalists regularly during his three weeks on the run, saying he was writing to publicise the treatment he had received at the hands of the police in Belize.

Gregory Faull was found dead with a single gunshot to the head on 11 November. His Belize home sits next to Mr McAfee's compound on a tropical island.

The US software creator is known to have had a long-running row with Mr Faull about the guard dogs he used to protect his compound.

He denies any involvement in the businessman's death and says he went into hiding so he could stay close to his Belize home and conduct his own investigation into Mr Faull's death, adding that he had little faith that the island's police would find the murderer.

In an interview with US TV station NBC, Mr McAfee offered a reward of $25,000 (£15,700) for the capture of the "person or persons" behind the killing.

Speaking through a representative, the Faull family has said that they feel the death of their loved one has been overshadowed by the media frenzy the software pioneer has whipped up.

McAfee has led an eccentric life since he sold his stake in the anti-virus software company that bears his name in the early 1990s.

He moved to Belize about three years ago seeking lower taxes and has lived in semi-seclusion on a heavily guarded compound until recently.

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