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McAfee says will not return to Belize, willing to talk to police

Computer software pioneer John McAfee speaks with reporters outside his hotel in Miami Beach, Florida December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Computer software pioneer John McAfee speaks with reporters outside his hotel in Miami Beach, Florida December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

By Jim Finkle

(Reuters) - U.S. software pioneer John McAfee said that he will not return to Belize where police want to question him about a murder case, but that he is willing to let authorities from the Central American nation interview him in a "neutral country."

McAfee, 67, went into hiding after his American neighbor Gregory Faull was fatally shot in November. He made his way secretly to neighboring Guatemala, but the authorities there deported him to Miami on Wednesday.

"I will not go back to Belize. I had nothing to do with the murder," a relaxed-looking McAfee said in an interview on CNBC.

Police in Belize want to question McAfee as a "person of interest" in Faull's killing, though authorities there say he is not a prime suspect. McAfee said he barely knew Faull and had "absolutely nothing" to do with his death.

Belize police say their country's extradition treaty with the United States extends only to suspected criminals, a designation that does not apply to McAfee.

McAfee, an eccentric tech pioneer, made a fortune from the anti-virus software bearing his name and had lived in Belize for four years.

He has charged that authorities have persecuted him because he refused to pay $2 million in bribes, and that the extortion attempt occurred after armed soldiers shot one of his dogs, smashed up his property and falsely accused him of running a methamphetamine laboratory.

Belize's prime minister has rejected the allegations, calling McAfee paranoid and "bonkers."

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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