Spain High Court allows John McAfee's extradition to the U.S


FILE PHOTO: John McAfee, co-founder of McAfee Crypto Team and CEO of Luxcore and founder of McAfee Antivirus, speaks at the Malta Blockchain Summit in St Julian's, Malta November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

MADRID (Reuters) -The Spanish High Court has authorised the extradition of John McAfee, an antivirus software creator, to the United States where he faces tax evasion charges, a court document released on Wednesday showed.

McAfee, 75, who was arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020, said during an extradition hearing this month that the accusations against him were politically motivated. He can still appeal against the court's extradition authorisation.

He has linked the charges filed by the Internal Revenue Service to his failed bid to run as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a second such attempt.

The Spanish prosecutor, Carlos Bautista, said McAfee was just a tax dodger and dismissed the accusation of a political motivation, insisting the Libertarian Party rarely gains more than 1% of votes in U.S. elections.

U.S. federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment in October against McAfee over charges that he evaded taxes and wilfully failed to file returns.

That came shortly after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it had brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging he made over $23.1 million in undisclosed income from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.

The Spanish court authorised the extradition but only to face charges related to his tax returns for 2016, 2017 and 2018 as the prosecution had asked.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alison Williams)

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