British-born US software mogul John McAfee on Wednesday took his own life in a Barcelona jail after the Spanish high court authorized his extradition to the US on tax evasion charges.

McAfee was found dead in his cell on Wednesday around 1pm, a spokeswoman for the Superior Court of Catalonia told CNN. She said that the cause of death is being investigated.

A statement from the Catalonia regional government Justice Department, which manages prisons there, said that prison medical personnel and guards tried to perform life-saving procedures after finding McAfee, but were not successful at bringing him back to life.

The statement said that "everything indicates" that McAfee could have died by suicide.

According to Reuters, his lawyer, Javier Villalba, said that the 75-year-old hanged himself as his nine months in jail brought him to despair.

At a court hearing last month, McAfee said that given his age, he would spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted in the US. “I am hoping that the Spanish court will see the injustice of this. The United States wants to use me as an example," he said.

McAfee had managed to stay away from US authorities. He was indicted in Tennessee on charges of tax evasion. In New York, he was charged in a cryptocurrency fraud case. He was detained on Oct. 3 at the Barcelona airport as he was about to take a plane to Istanbul with a British passport, a Spanish police source said at the time.

Before unveiling the world’s first commercial anti-virus in 1987, he worked for NASA, Xerox and Lockheed Martin. He sold his company to Intel in 2011.

Spain’s high court said on Wednesday it agreed to extradite McAfee to the US. He still had chances to appeal his conviction but could not stand more time in prison, Villalba said. “This is the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long,” he added.

McAfee said in 2019 that he had not paid US income taxes for eight years for ideological reasons.

His wife Janice McAfee tweeted on Sunday, “Now the US authorities are determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies... There is no hope of him ever having a fair trial in America.”

McAfee's last tweet on June 18 was about power.

"In a democracy, power is given not taken. But it is still power. Love, compassion, caring have no use for it. But it is fuel for greed, hostility, jealousy... All power corrupts. Take care which powers you allow a democracy to wield."

File picture of John McAfee
John McAfee, founder of the eponymous anti-virus company, speaks to journalists at the China Internet Security Conference in Beijing on August 16, 2016. Photo by Fred Dufour/AFP via Getty Images

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