Child pornography suspect denied bail

Friday 13 September 2013 16.33
Eric Eoin Marques is wanted in the United Stated on four charges
Eric Eoin Marques is wanted in the United Stated on four charges

A 28-year-old Dublin man, wanted in the United States by the FBI over allegations of operating an internet hosting service for child pornography, has been refused bail at the High Court in Dublin.

Eric Eoin Marques, with an address in Dublin's Mountjoy Square, holds dual Irish and US citizenship.

An FBI agent has described him as the "largest facilitator of child porn on the planet".

He is currently in custody awaiting a full hearing of an extradition application from US authorities.

The court was told today that hearing may not take place until the New Year.

The charges being brought by US authorities relate to a time period between 2008 and 2013.

They are seeking to try him on the offences in the US.

Following a bail application by Mr Marques’s legal team, with the offer of an independent surety and strict bail conditions, Mr Justice John Edwards said he had taken time to review all of the evidence placed before him and previous hearings and had decided he was "not disposed to granting bail in this case".

He said persons coming before the courts had a presumption of innocence and presumption of being entitled to bail - unless evidence was strong enough to "rebut" that presumption before the courts.

He said this was the case with Mr Marques.

He said in not granting bail, he had taken into account the fact Mr Marques may have to wait some time for a full hearing and the fact he was a resident in Ireland.

However, the judge said the charges being placed against Mr Marques were "very serious" and he had to take into account the level of sentence they may bring when assessing a "risk of flight" of an individual facing such offences.

FBI agent Brooke Donahue, who gave evidence to a previous hearing, told the court Mr Marques could face the "rest of his natural life" - or up to 100 years - in prison, if convicted on such offences.

Mr Justice Edwards said taking account of all of these facts, and undertakings Mr Marques had offered during the application - including that of not using computers while on bail, the court was not granting bail.