Freedom Hosting Owner Files Another Appeal to Fight US Extradition
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 appealâand he did.
After his 2013 arrest, an FBI agent flew to Ireland and ensured accused-Freedom Hosting ownerâs 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 defendantâs allegations, that extradition would not âinfringe on his human or constitutional rights.â
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 âextremely violent and graphicâ and are illustrating the rape and torture of underaged children. (Benjamin VitÃ¡ris)
The FBI claimed the Freedom Hosting owner made millions off allowing child pornography to exist on his server. Those millions added to the FBIâs 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 defendantâs 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 Aspergerâs 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 âextremely violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of prepubescent children.â
State lawyers accepted the appeal and agreed to hold the extradition until early 2017.