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Eric Eoin Marques. Photo by: Dailymail.co.uk

FBI’s most wanted child porn kingpin wants Irish trial

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Eric Eoin Marques. Photo by: Dailymail.co.uk

A man the FBI called the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet has launched a fresh bid to be prosecuted in Ireland instead of in the U.S.

Lawyers for Eric Eoin Marques told Dublin’s High Court on Tuesday that they wish to make a submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Barrister Remy Farrell told the court the submission will be made under Section 13 of the Extradition Act. That relates to not extraditing a defendant when the alleged offense was committed in Ireland.  DPP is considering a criminal file in the case.

Patrick McGrath, for the Irish state, said he had no objection to the application.

Marques is wanted in the U.S. on four charges linked to website images described as being extremely violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of young children.

Justice John Edwards remanded Marques in custody for a further three weeks when the case will be mentioned again.

Marques, 28, who has Irish and U.S. citizenship, was previously denied bail after the judge accepted evidence from the FBI and Gardai (Irish police) that he was a flight risk or likely to destroy evidence if released.

If convicted in the U.S. on all four counts he could be jailed for up to 100 years. A maximum penalty in Ireland for similar offenses is 14 years.

Marques, with an address at Mountjoy Square in Dublin, is accused of being the sole administrator of an anonymous hosting server called Freedom Hosting where, the FBI claim, thousands of members allegedly posted millions of images of child pornography. He was not in court for Tuesday’s brief hearing.

His father, Antonio Marques, 60, told the Irish Independent before an earlier hearing, “All I can say is that my son is completely innocent. All he was doing was renting web space.”

Marques Senior worked for Irish Rail for more than 15 years and now works for Etihad Rail in the United Arab Emirates. He claimed that his son had stipulated to customers that he would not tolerate illegal activity on the websites.

“He doesn’t allow it,” said his father, who acknowledged that illegal material had been discovered on sites hosted by his son’s company. “There is something bad in there, but it is nothing to do with him.”

New York-born Marques arrived in Ireland aged five. His mother is Irish and father Brazilian.

At one of the first hearings in a Dublin court, an FBI agent described Marques as the largest facilitator of child pornography on the planet.

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