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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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McAfee hospitalised and denied asylum

He was moved to hospital after he was found lying on the floor with chest pains in the room where he was being detained.

McAfee in an ambulance on his way to hospital.
McAfee in an ambulance on his way to hospital.
Image: (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

SOFTWARE COMPANY FOUNDER John McAfee was hospitalized briefly yesterday after being denied political asylum in Guatemala.

McAfee said he suffered chest pains overnight but didn’t believe he had a heart attack. A government doctor who examined him agreed, saying that McAfee’s heart rhythm and blood pressure were normal and that he appeared to be suffering from high stress.

McAfee was moved from an immigration centre to a police-run hospital yesterday afternoon after Guatemalan authorities said McAfee’s request for asylum had been denied. They did not explain why.

He was released from the hospital and taken back to the detention centre last night.

Asylum

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.

McAfee’s legal team said they were preparing to appeal the denial of asylum to the country’s constitutional court, a process that could give McAfee perhaps another day or two in Guatemala. The court would have to issue a decision within 48 hours.

McAfee’s complaints of chest pain prompted authorities to move him from the immigration centre where he had been held overnight. He had been taken to the centre after his arrest for illegally entering the country after a bizarre weeks-long journey as a self-styled fugitive with an active blog and constant contact with the press.

During an exclusive interview with the Associated Press yesterday morning from inside his private room at the centre, 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. 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.

Belizean police spokesman Raphael Martinez said officials expected McAfee to be flown back to his country’s capital. Police want to question him about the fatal shooting of Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot to death in early November on the Belize island where both men lived.

- AP

Read: McAfee arrested by Guatemalan police >

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