Child porn suspect refused review of prosecute decision

An Irishman described as "the largest facilitator of child porn in the world" has failed in an application to seek judicial review of the DPP’s decision not to prosecute him here.

Child porn suspect refused review of prosecute decision

Eric Eoin Marques, who is alleged to be the owner and administrator of an anonymous hosting site known as Freedom Hosting, is wanted by US authorities to face charges relating to conspiring to distribute and advertise child pornography, and advertising and distributing child pornography.

The 28-year-old, with an address at Mountjoy Square, Dublin, has been in custody since his arrest in August last year, after he was refused bail over concerns he represented a flight risk and that he may abscond or interfere with evidence in the case.

In December last year the extradition court heard the DPP had decided not to bring proceedings against Mr Marques with respect to the alleged offences.

The court heard a detailed letter had been submitted to the DPP, in which it was indicated Mr Marques would enter a plea of guilty were the offences to be prosecuted in this jurisdiction.

Yesterday at the High Court, Mr Justice John Edwards said he had decided to refuse Mr Marques leave to challenge, by way of judicial review, the decision not to prosecute him.

Mr Justice Edwards said Mr Marques would also not be granted leave to seek judicial review of the refusal of the DPP to give her reasons for not prosecuting him.

He said he would put the case back until October 14 to give Mr Marques’ counsel time to consider the judgment and with a view to fixing a date for the extradition hearing itself, subject to anything the applicant’s counsel had to say.

Mr Justice Edwards remanded Mr Marques in custody until that date.

The charges against Mr Marques relate to images on over 100 “anonymous websites” described as being violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of pre-pubescent children.

The websites have “thousands of members” who have posted “millions of images” of child pornography. Some the children involved are infants, the FBI claim.

The High Court previously heard it was alleged that an examination of Mr Marques’ home computer by gardaí showed that as well as hosting and facilitating the child pornography websites, Mr Marques was also visiting the sites, had direct knowledge of what he was hosting and had administrator access to one site.

If convicted, the charges could result in a sentence totalling 100 years.

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