In December 2015, the High Court in Dublin ordered the extradition of Eric Eoin Marques, the accused-host of Freedom Hosting. The extradition of Marques, a 31-year-old Dublin man who held both Irish and US citizenships, halted pending two appeal cases. He appealed the extradition and that Ireland had no right to try him (and why the Director of Public Prosecutions refused to prosecute him). Justice Michael Peart recently denied both appeals but granted Marques one week to file an appeal—and he did.
After his 2013 arrest, an FBI agent flew to Ireland and ensured accused-Freedom Hosting owner’s incarceration. During the initial hearing, the FBI said that Marques was “the largest facilitator of child porn in the world.” Following two years in custody, Justice Aileen Donnelly ordered the extradition of the man; she claimed, contrary to the defendant’s allegations, that extradition would not ”infringe on his human or constitutional rights.”
According to one of our earlier articles about the man:
According to Special Agent Donohue, Freedom Hosting thousands of members used the hosting website to post millions of images of child abuse. The pictures were described as being ”extremely violent and graphic” and are illustrating the rape and torture of underaged children. (Benjamin Vitáris)
The FBI claimed the Freedom Hosting owner made millions off allowing child pornography to exist on his server. Those millions added to the FBI’s argument regarding bail; several million USD let Marques disappear easily.
Marques fought to remain in Ireland for several reasons. First and foremost, the 31-year-old faced a lifetime in prison in the United States. Ireland would sentence him to a maximum of 14-years in prison if convicted. Marques repeatedly agreed to plead guilty in Ireland to avoid the imminent extradition. So far, the defendant’s offer fell on deaf ears.
Moreover, second to the life-in-prison issue, Marques fought to stay in Ireland based on mental health problems. Like Gary Davis aka Libertas, Marques believed US correctional facilities failed to handle mental health issues properly. Again, like Davis, Marques felt his Asperger’s syndrome would become debilitating.
The Judge Donahue dismissed the appeals and explained the charges to the court. He specifically pointed out that the images Marques hosted were “extremely violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of prepubescent children.”
State lawyers accepted the appeal and agreed to hold the extradition until early 2017.