US authorities are seeking the surrender of Eric Eoin Marques, 30, who allegedly owns and administer an anonymous hosting site known as Freedom Hosting, to face charges relating to conspiring to distribute and advertise child pornography and advertising and distributing child pornography.
Mr Marques, with an address at Mountjoy Square in central Dublin, has been in custody since his arrest in August 2013.
Mr Marques is seeking a judicial review of the DPP’s decision not to prosecute him in Ireland. His lawyers say the case is exceptional because Mr Marques is offering to plead guilty. They have submitted that it is not “a floodgates case”.
Yesterday, State counsel Pat McGrath SC said
there was no question that the alleged offences for which his surrender is sought were committed in Ireland, but it was more convenient to have the case tried in the US as the FBI are investigating the case and the sites were accessed in Maryland.
He also said Mr Marques was a US citizen with dual citizenship and the investigation and primary witnesses are US citizens.
Mícheál P O’Higgins SC, for Mr Marques, said the DPP’s ability to shield her reasons for not prosecuting was “ripe for abuse.” He said it was dangerous if the law permits to seal and insulate items from review.
The case continues.