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Guatemalan police arrest software guru McAfee

6:53 AM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
U.S. anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee walks with his girlfriend next to the Supreme Court in Guatemala City on Tuesday.(Photo: Johan Ordonez, AFP/Getty Images)
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Fugitive software mogul John McAfee's wild, improbable flight from authorities ended in Guatemala on Wednesday.

Guatemalan police arrested McAfee, 67, for illegally entering the country and said it would expel him to neighboring Belize, where he had been hiding for more than three weeks. Authorities there wanted to question McAfee as "a person of interest" over the slaying of fellow American Gregory Faull.

"He entered the country illegally and we are going to seek his expulsion for this crime," Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told Reuters.

McAfee's arrest ends one of the most bizarre international manhunts of the modern tech era. Armed with only a Twitter account, dozens of cell phone accounts and a battery of tech journalist handlers, McAffee eluded Belize authorities for 23 days while posting blog entries that highlighted his days on the run.

Guatemala government spokesman Francisco Cuevas told Reuters that he expected McAfee expulsion to Belize to be completed early Thursday morning.

Just Tuesday, McAfee -- who founded the security-software giant bearing his name, only to drop out of the tech scene and pursue an eclectic variety of interests that included yoga and hang gliding -- said he would seek political asylum in Guatemala. That nation is embroiled in a long-running territorial dispute with Belize.

Eugene Kaspersky, himself a maverick in the security field, said it was unfair to equate the McAfee saga to recent travails at the company, which has lost a few key executives. Like others, Kaspersky said McAfee was out of the picture at his former company years ago.

"He had some crazy ideas," says Mark Coker, who worked closely for John McAfee in the early 1990s. "But he was original, and foresaw things like cloud computing. It's all so strange."

USA Today

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