‘Real risk’ of higher sentence in US over child porn

Lawyers for an Irishman alleged to be the “largest facilitator of child porn in the world” have told the High Court there is a “real risk” the prosecution will seek to impose a higher sentence if he is convicted in the US.

‘Real risk’ of higher sentence in US over child porn

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 30-year-old, with an address at Mountjoy Square in central Dublin, has been in custody since his arrest in August 2013, after he was refused bail over concerns he represented a flight risk and that he may abscond or interfere with evidence.

The State is seeking to surrender him to US authorities while Mr Marques is seeking a judicial review of the DPP decision not to prosecute him in this country.

Counsel for Mr Marques, Michael P O’Higgins, yesterday told the High Court the sentencing range in the US can be “quite wide”.

“We don’t know if there is a conviction, whether there will be a conviction on all or some of the counts. In America, there is no boundary in charges and the sentencing range can be quite wide,” said Mr O’Higgins.

“Apart from the allegations, there are a range of matters which could feature in this case. These include whether Mr Marques benefited financially from the alleged conspiracy. They include whether Mr Marques is a paedophile.

“They include whether he uploaded images of child pornography onto Freedom Hosting and whether he visited the Onion Paedo video archive. Whether he had control of a mail service run on a server in France that provides anonymous email communication for drug dealers, for terrorists, for child pornographers, and other persons engaged in criminality,” he said.

“It is my submission having regard to the nature and breadth of the material and the content of the evidence, that the applicant has more than established there is a real risk that if convicted in the United States, there is a real risk the prosecution will seek to have a higher sentence imposed,” he said.

The hearing continues.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.