John McAfee, the creator of McAfee antivirus software, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona in an apparent suicide on Wednesday (23 June) after a court approved his extradition to the US on tax evasion charges, the Associated Press (AP) has reported.
The anti-virus pioneer, 75, was found dead in his cell in the Brians 2 penitentiary near Barcelona "apparently from suicide", a spokeswoman for the prison system in the northeastern Catalonia region said.
A spokeswoman for the Catalan branch of the legal body which oversees Spain's courts, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), also confirmed that McAfee had been found dead in his cell at around 7pm of an apparent suicide.
Guards and medical staff intervened immediately to perform resuscitation measures but doctors eventually certified his death."
McAfee has been in jail in Spain since he was arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020, just as he was about to board a flight to Istanbul.
He is alleged to have deliberately failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, despite earning millions from consulting work, cryptocurrencies and selling the rights to his life story.
If convicted, he could have faced up to 30 years in prison.
Catalonia's regional justice department said only that an investigation was opened after an unnamed 75-year-old inmate facing extradition to the US was found dead in his cell at the prison.
"Guards and medical staff intervened immediately to perform resuscitation measures but doctors eventually certified his death," the statement added.
"A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death," it said, adding that "everything points to death by suicide."
While the statement didn't identify McAfee by name a Catalan government official familiar with the case who was not authorized to be named in media reports confirmed to The Associated Press that it was McAfee.
Spain's National Court earlier on 23 June said it had approved McAfee's extradition to the US.
The decision could still have been appealed and the extradition needed approval from the Spanish cabinet.
According to the US extradition request filed in November and quoted in the ruling, McAfee earned more than $12m in 2014-18, but never filed a tax return.