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US bid to extradite 'world's biggest child porn facilitator' backed by judge

Published 16/12/2015

Eric Eoin Marques is facing extradition to the US
Eric Eoin Marques is facing extradition to the US

A bid by the US authorities to extradite an Irishman alleged to be the world's largest facilitator of child porn has been permitted by a High Court judge in Dublin.

Eric Eoin Marques, who has Asperger's syndrome, is set to appeal the order by judge Aileen Donnelly.

Delivering judgement today, the judge said: "The court has determined that extradition to the USA for purposes of trial on these alleged offences would not amount to a violation of his constitutional and Convention rights."

The judge also rejected a judicial review taken by Marques's defence team that argued that any case against him should have been pursued by Irish prosecutors, not the US authorities.

In response to the extradition order, a defence barrister told the court: "We do have instructions to appeal."

The FBI has claimed Marques is the largest facilitator of child porn in the world.

US investigators are seeking to prosecute him on four charges.

He is wanted over links to images on the Dark Web described as being extremely violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of pre-pubescent children.

Marques, 30, of Mountjoy Square in Dublin's north inner city, has both Irish and US citizenship.

He was diagnosed as having the complex brain disorder Asperger's, part of the autism spectrum, after undergoing examinations in an Irish jail following his arrest in August 2013.

Marques was ordered back into custody to await extradition. He waved at relatives in court as he was led away.

He 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.

He has previously denied being the owner and administrator of an anonymous hosting server called Freedom Hosting where the FBI claim thousands of members allegedly posted millions of images of child pornography.

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