Thursday 30 October 2014

Case against ‘largest facilitator of child porn in the world’ put back

Published 21/01/2014 | 11:37

Eric Eoin Marques

An extradition case against an Irishman described by an FBI Special Agent as "the largest facilitator of child porn in the world" has been adjourned for a week.

The case was put back after the High Court heard there were “legal representation issues” which needed to be sorted out.

Eric Eoin Marques (28), of Mountjoy Square in Dublin, is alleged to be the owner and administrator of an anonymous hosting site known as Freedom Hosting and US authorities want to extradite him to Maryland to go on trial.

He is wanted on charges of conspiring to distribute and advertise child pornography, and advertising and distributing child pornography.

Counsel for Marques, Niamh Foley BL, told Mr Justice John Edwards she was seeking an adjournment of two weeks “to sort out legal representation issues which have arisen”.

Mr Justice Edwards asked if there was an application for Marques’ legal team to “come off record”, or stop representing their client.

Ms Foley replied: “Not at the moment”.

The judge refused to set the case back by a fortnight, but agreed to adjourn it for a week, saying he was anxious that some progress should be made.

Marques has been in custody since August.

The charges against him 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 have posted millions of images of child abuse.

Marques had indicated he was willing to plead guilty to charges in Ireland, where penalties are lower. However, the DPP has decided not to prosecute him in Ireland.

If convicted in the US, he could spend the rest of his natural life in jail.

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