Former NSA consultant and data privacy advocate Edward Snowden on Wednesday warned that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange “could be next” after antivirus mogul John McAfee apparently committed suicide following news that he was being extradited to the United States on criminal tax evasion charges.
In a tweet, Snowden said, “Europe should not extradite those accused of non-violent crimes to a court system so unfair—and prison system so cruel—that native-born defendant would rather die than become subject to it. Julian Assange could be next. Until the system is reformed, a moratorium should remain.”
Europe should not extradite those accused of non-violent crimes to a court system so unfair—and prison system so cruel—that native-born defendants would rather die than become subject to it. Julian Assange could be next.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 23, 2021
Until the system is reformed, a moratorium should remain. https://t.co/tUociySmVy
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is lodged in a UK jail since April 2019. A Britain court had temporarily blocked his extradition to the US in January 2021 on 18 charges, most through the Espionage Act, of obtaining and sharing classified information. The court also cited Assange’s mental health problems to declare he would be at risk of suicide.
Despite the court hearing, Assange continues to languish in Britain’s toughest hail, HMP Belmarsh. He was denied bail ahead of an appeal hearing because he was deemed as a flight risk. Assange is facing allegations of plotting to hack computers and conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information.
Antivirus software mogul John McAfee found dead under mysterious circumstances in his jail cell in Spain
John McAfee, the antivirus software pioneer, died suspiciously inside his jail cell in Spain on June 23. According to jail authorities, McAfee ended his life inside the jail premises hours after a Spanish court had approved his extradition to the United States, where he is accused of tax evasion and other financial offences.
According to the reports, McAfee was found hanging at the Brians 2 prison in northeastern Spain on Wednesday. The security personnel who found him dead immediately tried to revive him, but their efforts went in vain. The jail’s medical team finally certified his death, a statement from the regional Catalan government said.
Incidentally, McAfee’s alleged suicide came just hours after the National Court of Spain had ordered his extradition to the United States, where he is wanted in several cases. Even though the court’s ruling was open for appeal and also approval was needed from the Spanish Cabinet, McAfee allegedly ended his life fearing extradition.
In his last tweet published on June 18, McAfee wrote: “All power corrupts. Take care which powers you allow a democracy to wield.”