John McAfee at a hotel in Florida in February 2012. (Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis via Getty Images)
- Allegedly, John McAfee attempted suicide for the first time in February.
- He committed suicide last month and was found in the cell.
- McAfee’s widow blamed the American authorities for his death.
A source in the prison system told Reuters on Friday that the authorities believed that John McAfee, who committed suicide in a Spanish prison last month, attempted suicide for the first time in February, prompting guards to monitor the American software tycoon more closely.
McAfee launched the world’s first commercial antivirus software in 1987, and was waiting to be extradited to the United States on charges of tax evasion.
His widow said last week that he had no tendency to commit suicide and blamed the US authorities for his death.
According to sources, the suicide attempt occurred on February 28 at the Blaines Prison Building outside Barcelona, where he has been detained since his detention at the city’s airport in October.
As a result of the attempt, the prison has opened up a standard suicide surveillance protocol, which includes monitoring the mental health of prisoners and closely supervising them for days, weeks, or even months.
The source declined to specify how long the 75-year-old McAfee has been under suicide surveillance, citing confidentiality.
McAfee’s lawyer Javier Villalba previously stated that his client did not show any signs of suicide before being found dead in his cell. He shared a cell with another prisoner, but he was alone at the time.
Villalba did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on Friday.
A spokesperson for the Catalan Ministry of Justice responsible for the prison system in the Northeast declined to comment.
The department has begun an internal investigation into McAfee’s death and is sharing the findings with the judge in charge of the case.
The El Pais newspaper reported on Monday that an official autopsy revealed that he died by suicide, but the official did not confirm or deny the report.