Friday 15 December 2017

Alleged child porn facilitator allowed apply for bail again

Eric Eoin Marques before High Court at 3pm

Eric Eoin Marques
Eric Eoin Marques

Tom Tuite

A HIGH court judge ruled this morning that a 28-year-old Irish man described by an FBI Special Agent as “the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet” is entitled to apply for bail a second time.

Eric Eoin Marques (28), who is wanted in the United States, had been refused bail by the High Court in Dublin last month, on foot of an extradition request by the FBI.

US authorities want to extradite Marques, who has dual Irish-US citizenship, to face trial on charges for distributing, conspiring to distribute, and advertising child pornography.

It was also alleged he aided and abetted a conspiracy to advertise child porn and the court had heard that if convicted he faces sentences of up to 30 years in jail.

The charges 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 "thousands of members" who have posted "millions of images" of child pornography and some the children involved are as young as infants, the FBI claim.

Remy Farrell SC, for Marques, argued that despite the High Court's decision last month, the 28-year-old is now entitled to make another bail application.

Marques, who had been arrested on August 1 last, had been refused bail the following day on the grounds that he presented as a possible flight risk and it was feared he would destroy evidence particularly computer evidence. An FBI Special Agent had described him in the High Court as “the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet.”

Mr Farrell said that since then the proceedings have moved on to a new stage and Marques should be allowed to apply for bail again. Counsel argued that when bail was refused, Marques was being held on a provisional warrant and it was not certain that there would a formal request at that stage for his extradition.

He submitted that now Marques, who has an address at Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, is to face a full extradition hearing which marked a new procedural stage, and this meant that he was entitled to apply for bail again.

In reply, Patrick McGrath SC, for the Attorney General opposed the application which he had described as a “waste of the court's time” and added that it “if not an abuse of process, flies in the face of normal procedures.”

Dressed in a grey hooded top, blue jeans and black runners, Mr Marques did did not address the court.

This morning Mr Justice John Edwards held that in the interest of justice, the 28-year-old could make a fresh bail application which will be heard today at 3pm.

Irish Independent

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