An Irish judge told the court handling the extradition case of alleged child pornographer Eric Eoin Marques that she will not be influenced by a letter from a US prisoner regarding the conditions for mentally-ill inmates in the US.
Marques, who has Asperger’s syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder on the autism spectrum not classed as a mental illness, is wanted in the US on four charges of child pornography and is fighting extradition proceedings in the Irish High Court after the FBI alleged he was the largest facilitator of child pornography in the world.
He has been linked to anonymous hosting servers on the Dark Web - a protected sub-layer of the internet only accessible with specific software, configurations or authorization to access, that can enable people to conduct illicit activities - showing violent and graphic images depicting the rape and torture of pre-pubescent children.
An unknown US prisoner wrote to Judge Aileen Donnelly who is presiding over the extradition application and a separate judicial review into the decision not to press charges against Marques in Ireland, although she has since told the court that she will not be influenced by this.
“He has raised issues for the treatment of mentally-ill prisoners in the US,” Donnelly told the court.
“I’m absolutely clear that I’m not influenced by it.”
Marques, a resident of Mountjoy Square in Dublin City, was born in the US and holds both Irish and US citizenship. He was diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome in 2013 shortly after his arrest.
He is wanted in the US in connection with four counts of child pornography: the advertising of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, conspiracy to advertise child pornography and conspiracy to distribute child pornography.
Marques, 30, has previously denied the FBI’s allegations that he is the owner and administrator of anonymous hosting server, Freedom Hosting, where the FBI claim millions of pornographic images of children were posted.
It is also alleged that he hosted up to 550 of such servers throughout Europe, earning thousands a month for doing so.
Born in New York, Marques lived with his Irish mother and sister after her divorce from his Brazilian-born father. In 2005, he and his father established Ultra Hosting, a business which included web-hosting, domain registration, design, marketing and consultancy services.The latest business accounts from 2011 shown to the court as part of the proceedings show no financial activity although Marques had previously told the court he was earning substantial amounts.
He is accused of conspiring to distribute child abuse images since 2008.
Despite declaring that he would plead guilty to a number of charges in Ireland, where he would face a much shorter sentence if found guilty than in the US, the Director of Public Prosecutions Claire Loftus choose not to bring proceedings against him in Ireland in December 2013.
The extradition case has now been adjourned until December 16 2015 and Marques was remanded in custody.