US seeks extradition of Irishman in pornography case

Thursday 08 August 2013 23.14
US authorities are seeking the extradition of Eric Eoin Marques
US authorities are seeking the extradition of Eric Eoin Marques

A 28-year-old Irishman, described by an FBI special agent as "the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet", has been again remanded in custody by the High Court.

US authorities are seeking the extradition of Eric Eoin Marques, who is alleged to be involved in the distribution of online child pornography.

Following a brief appearance before Mr Justice Paul McDermott at the High Court this morning, Mr Marques was remanded in custody until next Thursday.

The court previously heard Mr Marques, who has Irish and US citizenship, was arrested on a provisional warrant alleging distribution and promotion of child pornography on the internet.

This morning counsel for the Attorney General, Ronan Kennedy Bl, asked the court to further remand Mr Marques in custody until a formal request for extradition was received from the United States.

Mr Kennedy told the judge Mr Marques could be remanded in custody for 18 days after his arrest.

If a formal request for extradition was not received from the US and certified by the Minister for Justice in that time, he would then be entitled to be released.

He said the State was asking for a further remand in custody for one week in the expectation that a formal request for extradition would be received and certified.

Last week, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan refused to grant Mr Marques, with an address at Mountjoy Square in central Dublin, bail until the extradition request has been determined.

The US authorities are seeking his extradition on four charges.

The court heard that if convicted he faces sentences of up to 30 years in prison.

The charges relate to images on a large number of websites described as being extremely violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of pre-pubescent children.

The charges were brought against Mr Marques following a year-long investigation involving both the FBI and gardaí.

Mr Marques was arrested in Dublin last Thursday on foot of a provisional extradition warrant issued by a US court on 29 July.

Investigating gardaí and the FBI both objected to bail being granted.

The court heard evidence that large sums of money had passed through his bank accounts, including large payments sent to accounts in Romania.

The court also heard that a search of Mr Marques's computer revealed he had made inquires about how to get a visa and entry into Russia.

He had no previous convictions nor had he ever come to the attention of the authorities before.