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Guatemalan judge orders McAfee released from detention

Just wants to 'fish and swim', no more aerotrekking

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A Guatemalan judge has reportedly ordered the release of John McAfee, after ruling the anti-virus pioneer turned Belizean manhunt target was being detained illegally.

McAfee is due to be released from detention at the central immigration centre in Guatemala City on Wednesday. In an update to his official blog, McAfee said he wanted to return to the US - but only after getting a visa for his 20 year-old girlfriend, Samantha Vanegas.

Telesforo Guerra, McAfee's lawyer and Vanegas's uncle, said that Judge Judith Secaida ruled that McAfee's detention was illegal, and ordered him released with the condition that he gets his immigration status in order within 10 days, AP reports.

McAfee was detained last week after slipping over the border to Guatemala from neighbouring Belize. In the three weeks prior to that McAfee and his girlfriend had been on the run, trying to avoid the attentions of police in Belize who want to question him as a person of interest in the November 11 murder of McAfee's neighbour, Gregory Faull. McAfee is not a suspect in the murder.

It's not immediately clear whether Judge Secaida's ruling quashes attempts by Belizean authorities to extradite McAfee to Belize.

McAfee has repeatedly said corrupt Belizean authorities are persecuting him and has expressed fears for his life if he was returned to Belize. Government and police officials in Belize say McAfee's fears are baseless and that they simply want to question him about Faull's murder.

In the 18 years since McAfee sold out his stake in McAfee Associates, making $100m in the process, he has devoted himself to yoga, low-level ultralight aircraft racing ("aerotrekking") and more recently the production of herbal medications. McAfee, 67, expressed the desire to return home to the US, settle down and enjoy a quiet retirement during an internet broadcast live from the Guatemalan detention centre on Sunday.

"I simply would like to live comfortably day by day, fish, swim, enjoy my declining years," he said.

During the same Q&A session, McAfee said he was scrupulous about paying his taxes and didn't expect to run into any problems from the US Internal Revenue Service. ®

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