Home News John McAfee attempted suicide months before death in Spanish jail: Prisons source

John McAfee attempted suicide months before death in Spanish jail: Prisons source

by Mebin Varghese

John McAfee, who authorities believe committed suicide in a Spanish prison last month, first tried to kill himself in February, prompting closer monitoring of the US software mogul by warders, a penitentiary system source told Reuters on Friday. McAfee, who launched the world’s first commercial anti-virus software in 1987, was awaiting extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges. His widow said last week he was not suicidal and blamed US authorities for his death.

The failed suicide attempt took place on February 28 at the Brians prison complex outside Barcelona, where he had been held since his detention in October at the city’s airport, the source said. As a result of the attempt, the prison opened its standard suicide watch protocol, which involves monitoring the inmate’s mental health and closer supervision for days, weeks, or sometimes months. The source declined to specify how long McAfee, 75, had been on suicide watch, citing confidentiality reasons.

McAfee’s lawyer Javier Villalba has previously said his client had not shown any suicidal signs before being found dead in his cell. He was sharing the cell with another inmate but was alone at that time. Villalba did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on Friday.

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A spokesperson for Catalonia’s Justice Department, in charge of the northeastern region’s jail system, declined to comment.

The department has opened an internal investigation on McAfee’s death which is being shared with the judge in charge of the case. El Pais newspaper reported on Monday the official autopsy showed that he died by suicide, but officials would not confirm or deny the report.

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