(NEW YORK) — Tech guru John McAfee told ABC News in his first broadcast interview that he did not kill his neighbor Gregory Faull, and is now in hiding, fearful of what he calls a “corrupt government” in Belize that he believes is trying to kill him.
“I am a very nice guy and certainly innocent of the charges leveled against me,” McAfee told ABC News by phone on Wednesday. The millionaire declined to meet with ABC News for an interview.
“Well, we’ll talk on the phone first. Talking face to face is going to be a very difficult thing, sir. People know you’re not being followed by. I can assure you, but you are,” he said.
McAfee said he would possibly grant ABC News an interview after our reporters research what he calls the corruption in Belize and the witch hunt against him.
“I insist that we’re living in a corrupt government, it’s easy to point that out,” he said.
McAfee is now on the run from police in San Pedro, Belize, after he was named a person of interest by police after Faull, 52, was found murdered Sunday morning.
McAfee, who is being sought for questioning in Faull’s murder, is not believed to have left Belize. He would not comment on his location, but said he feels secure where he is.
The 67-year-old fears he will be killed if he ends up in government custody.
“The government is able to listen to any phone conversation and triangulate fairly closely,” said McAfee, who changes phones every few hours.
On Wednesday, Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow said McAfee needed to “man up” and talk to police. “He seems to be extremely paranoid. I would go so far as to say bonkers,” Barrow said.
Police say they have good reason to question McAfee.
ABC News has obtained an exclusive copy of the complaint against McAfee, which Faull wrote on behalf of the neighborhood and filed with local officials last month.
“The residents and visitors of the Mata Grande Subdivision and surrounding properties petition [local authorities] to address 3 issues affecting our safety, health and tourism,” says the complaint. “These problems are all at the residence of John McAfee.”
The petition charges that security guards on McAfee’s property “walk around with shotguns at night and up and down the beach…They have been known to shine spotlights right into peoples’ eyes at night and act aggressively with their guns, chambering a bullet and nonsense such as this. People are scared to walk down the beach at night as a result. The tourists are terrified.”
The complaint also alleges that taxis and delivery trucks arrive at McAfee’s house at all hours, and that “vicious dogs” on his property are running amok. “These animals get loose and run as a pack. Three residents have been bitten and three tourists have been attacked.”
According to the complaint, when one of McAfee’s dogs attacked a young female tourist, a neighbor who had witnessed the attack confronted McAfee, who had also witnessed the attack. McAfee “did nothing about it,” says the complaint. Neighbors told ABC News that Faull, who lived 300 yards from McAfee, was the person who confronted McAfee.
On Friday, McAfee said through Wired editor Joshua Davis, who has kept in touch with McAfee while in hiding, he found his dogs poisoned. To be humane, McAfee said he shot four of the dogs to put them out of misery and buried them.
Faull was found dead on Sunday morning on the second story of his home with a gunshot to the back of his head. There was no sign of forced entry, and police found a 9 mm casing at the scene. Faull’s laptop and iPhone were missing.
McAfee brushes off reports that he is insane. Recent photos have surfaced showing the former software tycoon pressing a pistol to his temple and totting a shotgun. McAfee says the media has portrayed him as gun-obsessed.
“I’ve never seen myself walking around shirtless carrying a shotgun, what an absurd thing to do,” McAfee said. “… I would walk around armed, but mostly with a pistol in a holster and wearing clothes for god sake.”
McAfee is best known for developing anti-piracy software in the 1980s and helping to pioneer instant messaging in the 1990s. He sold his shares in the software company that bears his name in 1994 and pocketed $100 million. After losing all but $4 million of his fortune, he moved to Belize five years ago.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN