Judge to decide John McAfee’s Guatemalan fate

Published December 07, 2012

| FoxNews.com

After a month of high-tech hide and seek, software megamogul John McAfee’s next steps are out of his hands.

McAfee, an eccentric millionaire who is wanted for questioning in Belize in connection with the murder of Gregory Viant Faull, found himself back in a Guatemalan detention center Friday following overnight complaints of chest pains, explained Fernando Lucero, a spokesman for Guatemala's immigration department.

“His health is stable and we’re waiting on a judge’s decision,” Lucero told FoxNewsLatino. But what will happen to him remains unclear.

Lucero said McAfee may be returned to Belize or deported to the United States, depending on the judge’s ruling. That decision may come down to a fine point of diplomacy: McAfee hasn’t been charged with any crime nor is there currently a warrant for his arrest in connection with Faull's murder.

Indeed, despite several reports to the contrary, McAfee has not been arrested in Guatemala, merely detained, Lucero said.

Faull was shot to death in early November on the Belize island where both men lived, and McAfee fled the police immediately after, refusing requests to answer questions and citing fears of a corrupt Belizean government.

The Faull family has said through a representative that the murder of their loved one on Ambergris Caye has gotten lost in the media frenzy provoked by McAfee's manipulation of the media through phone calls, emails and copious blog posts detailing his life on the lam.

Belizean police spokesman Raphael Martinez said officials expected McAfee to be flown back to his country's capital.

John Hishmeh, a public affairs officer within the U.S. embassy in Guatemala, told FoxNews.com that McAfee had contacted the embassy, which would do what it can for him.

“We have been in touch with him and provided the appropriate consular services,” Hishmeh said.

McAfee applied for asylum with the Guatemalan government earlier this week; that request was denied.

Shortly after the decision to deny him asylum was announced, McAfee issued a plea on his blog for the public to petition Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina to let him stay.

"Please email the President of Guatemala and beg him to allow the court system to proceed, to determine my status in Guatemala, and please support the political asylum that I am asking for," the post read.

McAfee's legal team said they were preparing to appeal the denial of asylum to the country's constitutional court.

"John is out of the hospital and feeling well. Updates when I receive them later today," he wrote on Twitter.

During an exclusive interview with the AP Thursday morning from inside his private room at the center, McAfee said he was refusing to travel to a hospital because he had been using Chinese herbal medicine since suffering a heart attack in 1993.

"Last night I had a little bit of pain, but I am fine this morning," he said. "I don't like Western medicine ... if the people around me are kind and compassionate, that's all that matters in life. The people of Guatemala are very kind people, so I have no complaints."

A couple of hours later, an AP reporter returned to McAfee's room and found him changed into a suit but lying on the floor as he was examined by a doctor. Shortly after, he was taken to the police hospital.

Chad Essley, a comic artist working on a graphic novel about McAfee called “The Hinterland,” has become the mysterious millionaire’s lifeline to the world. Essley also said Friday that McAfee's health was stable.

McAfee went on the run last month after officials tried to question him about the killing of Faull, who was shot to death in early November. 

The country's prime minister has questioned McAfee's mental state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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