independent

Friday 25 April 2014

DPP decides not to prosecute 'largest facilitator of porn on the planet'

Decision may have implications for US authorities trying to extradite him

Eric Eoin Marques has been remanded in custody for a further two weeks
Eric Eoin Marques: THE DPP has decided not to prosecute, in Ireland, a man described by the FBI as being "the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet".

THE DPP has decided not to prosecute, in Ireland, a man described by the FBI as being "the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet".

The decision, described as a"significant event", could have implications for efforts by the US authorities who are trying to extradite him to face charges there.

This morning the High Court heard that the DPP has directed not to prosecute Eric Eoin Marques.

Mr Marques who is wanted in the United Stated on four charges linked to website images described as being extremely violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of pre-pubescent children.

The 28 year old, who has Irish and US citizenship, wanted to be tried in Ireland.

At a previous hearing, his lawyers said he wanted to make a submission to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Section 15 of the Extradition Act, which relates to not extraditing a defendant when the alleged offence was committed in Ireland.

Under the 1965 Act, surrender will not be granted if the offence is regarded under the law of the State as having been committed in that country.

Lawyers for Eric Eoin Marques are requesting he be tried in Ireland on child porn charges rather than the United States.
Decision may have implications for US authorities trying to extradite him

The DPP considered a criminal file in the case and considered a detailed letter submitted on Mr Marques behalf in which he indicated that he would plead guilty to the offences if tried in Ireland.

The case has been adjourned until January 21st as the DPPs decision raised a number of complex issues, the High Court has heard.

Mr Marques appeared before High Court Judge Mr Justice John Edwards in Dublin this morning.

The hearing was attended by members of Mr Marques family.

Mr Marques was arrested by police in Dublin on August 1 last under a provisional extradition request by the US authorities and has been in custody since his arrest.

Mr Marques is wanted in connection with four counts involving the advertising of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, conspiracy to advertise child pornography and conspiracy to distribute child pornography.

The alleged charges date from July 24 2008 to July 29 2013 and each carries a maximum penalty of between 20 and 30 years.

If convicted in the US on all four counts he faces up to 30 years in jail.

An FBI special agent previously told the court the suspect, who has an address on Mountjoy Square in Dublin's north inner city, is suspected of being "the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet".

He is accused of being the sole administrator of a hosting server where multiple websites were held and where it is alleged pornographic images were shared.

The FBI alleges that Mr Marques was the owner and administrator of an anonymous hosting site, known as Freedom Hosting, that was a "sophisticated, huge transnational operation".

The High Court previously heard evidence that this operated a server space, which was allegedly paid for by an account in Mr Marques' name from a US bank account and the billing address was through a private mailbox facility in Las Vegas assigned to Eric Marques.

Mr Marques has denied being the administer of the anonymous hosting server.

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