Sunday 18 March 2018

Court to rule on second bail bid by child-porn suspect

Tom Tuite

THE Irishman described by an FBI special agent as "the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet" will find out today whether he is entitled to apply for bail again.

Eric Eoin Marques (28), below, 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 Mr Marques, who has dual Irish-US citizenship, to face trial on charges of 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.

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

Mr Marques, who had been arrested on August 1, 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.

However, yesterday Mr Farrell argued that when bail was refused, Mr Marques, who has an address at Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, was being held on a provisional warrant.

He submitted that Mr Marques was to face a full extradition hearing, which marked a new procedural stage, and that this meant that he was entitled to apply for bail again.

In reply, Patrick McGrath SC, for the Attorney General, opposed the application. He described it as a "waste of the court's time" and "if not an abuse of process, flies in the face of normal procedures".

Mr Justice John Edwards said he would give his ruling this morning on whether a new bail application can be made.

Irish Independent

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