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Risk of sexual violence against child porn accused in the US, court hears

Accused: Eric Eoin Marques
Accused: Eric Eoin Marques

A letter about conditions for mentally ill inmates in US prisons has been written to the presiding judge in the extradition case of an Irishman the FBI claim is the “largest facilitator of child porn in the world.”

The letter, written by a prisoner in the US, was mentioned yesterday at the High Court by Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly.

Eric Eoin Marques, who is alleged to be the owner and administrator of an anonymous hosting site known as Freedom Hosting, is wanted by the US authorities to face charges relating to conspiring to distribute and advertise child pornography and advertising and distributing child pornography.

The 30-year-old, with an address at Mountjoy Square in central Dublin, has been in custody since his arrest in August 2013, after he was refused bail over concerns he represented a flight risk and that he may abscond or interfere with evidence in the case.

The State are seeking to surrender him to US authorities while Mr Marques is seeking a judicial review of the Director of Public Prosecutions decision not to prosecute him in this country.

Previously, lawyers for Marques told the court that there is a risk of sexual violence in prisons in the United States, which is seeking his extradition.

Yesterday, referring to the letter from the prisoner in the US, Ms Justice Donnelly said, "He has raised issues about the treatment for mentally ill prisoners in the US."

She added that her judgment would not be influenced by the letter from the inmate but that she wanted to give the lawyers the opportunity to make submissions.

"I'm absolutely clear that I'm not influenced by it," she said.

Judge Donnelly adjourned the case until December 16th but said that it will be mentioned again next week and that lawyers could make submissions relating the letter from the US prisoner.

Mr Marques was remanded in custody.

Daniel hickey