Software company founder John McAfee surfaced in public for the first time in weeks, saying on Tuesday he plans to ask for asylum in Guatemala because he fears persecution in Belize.

Mr. McAfee spoke to AP in a restaurant near a high-end hotel where he is staying in Guatemala City after sneaking out of neighbouring Belize. Police in Belize called him a person of interest in the November slaying of a fellow American ex-pat but say there is no warrant for his arrest. Since there are no restrictions on his travel, it’s unclear why he needs special status to stay in Guatemala.

Mr. McAfee says he is being persecuted by the Belizean government, and he has sensitive information about official corruption there. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has expressed doubts over Mr. McAfee’s mental state, saying: “I don’t want to be unkind to the gentleman, but I believe he is extremely paranoid, even bonkers.”

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