(GUATEMALA CITY) — Software anti-virus pioneer John McAfee is in the process of being deported to Belize after he was arrested in Guatemala for entering the country illegally, his attorney told ABC News early Thursday.
ABC News has learned that McAfee is scheduled to be deported to Belize later Thursday morning. But a judge could stay the ruling if it is determined McAfee’s life is threatened by being in Belizean custody, as McAfee has claimed over the past several weeks.
Just hours before his arrest, McAfee told ABC News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that he would be seeking asylum in Guatemala. He was arrested by the Central American country’s immigration police and not the national police, said his attorney, who was confident his client would be released within hours.
“Thank God I am in a place where there is some sanity,” said McAfee, 67, before his arrest. “I chose Guatemala carefully.”
McAfee said that in Guatemala, the locals aren’t surprised when he says the Belizean government is out to kill him.
“Instead of going, ‘You’re crazy,’ they go, ‘Yeah, of course they are,'” he said. “It’s like, finally, I understand people who understand the system here.”
But McAfee added he has not ruled out moving back to the United States, where he made his fortune as the inventor of anti-virus software, and that despite losing much of his fortune, he still has more money than he could ever spend.
In his interview with ABC News, a jittery, animated but candid McAfee called the media’s representation of him a “nightmare that is about to explode,” and said he’s prepared to prove his sanity.
McAfee has been on the run from police in Belize since the Nov. 10 murder of his neighbor, fellow American expatriate Greg Faull.
During his three-week journey, said McAfee, he disguised himself as handicapped, dyed his hair seven times and hid in many different places during his three-week journey.
He dismissed accounts of erratic behavior and reports that he had been using the synthetic drug bath salts. He said he had never used the drug, and said statements that he had were part of an elaborate prank.
Investigators said that McAfee was not a suspect in the death of the former developer, who was found shot in the head in his house on the resort island of San Pedro, but that they wanted to question him.
McAfee told ABC News that the poisoning death of his dogs and the murder just hours later of Faull, who had complained about his dogs, was a coincidence.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Steve Almasy, CNN
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Steve Visser and Masoud Popalzai, CNN