Child porn accused to be extradited to face US charges

An Irishman described by the FBI as “the largest facilitator of child porn in the world” is to be extradited to the US. Eric Eoin Marques, aged 30, with an address at Mountjoy Square, Dublin, is alleged to be the owner and administrator of an anonymous hosting site known as Freedom Hosting.

Eric Eoin Marques: DPP does not have to explain his extradition.

The US authorities want him to face charges of conspiring to distribute and advertise child pornography and advertising and distributing child pornography.

The State had sought to surrender him to US authorities while Marques sought a judicial review of the DPP’s decision not to prosecute him in this country.

At the High Court, Justice Aileen Donnelly delivered a judgement on the extradition, saying that it had been issued with due process and did not constitute a violation of his constitutional rights. She also rejected a judicial review that argued that Mr Marques should be tried in Ireland, rather than the US.

Mr Marques’s legal team had argued they are entitled to know why the DPP was not prosecuting the case but Justice Donnelly rejected this. She said there was nothing in the case that should overturn the longstanding immunity of the DPP from having to give reasons for its decisions.

She said it is not her function to set out guidelines for how the DPP should act in extradition cases, saying to do so would effectively be legislating.

Speaking for Marques, Mark Lynam BL said the decision will be appealed and asked for a stay to be put on the issue of the warrant.

Justice Donnelly said that application should be made to the Court of Appeal but said Marques should not be submitted for at least 15 days to allow time for an appeal.

The charges against Marques relate to images on over 100 anonymous websites described as being extremely violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of pre-pubescent children. The websites in question have “thousands of members” who have posted “millions of images” of child pornography. Some of the children involved are infants, the FBI claim.

The extradition court previously heard from FBI special agent Brooke Donahue, who described Marques as “the largest facilitator of child porn in the world”.


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