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U.S. seeks extradition of Irish alleged hoster of child porn sites

Dec. 11, 2013 at 2:04 AM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A man's offer to plead guilty to child pornography in Ireland has been rejected in favor of extradition to the United States, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Eric Eoin Marques, 28, is expected to fight extradition on the grounds that the sentence he faces if convicted in the United States would be decades long, the Irish Independent reported. The FBI notified Ireland's High Court that Marques could receive what would amount to a life sentence if found guilty on four charges that carry penalties of more than 20 years each.

Marques, a Dublin resident who was arrested in August, allegedly operated a site, Freedom Hosting, that was used by websites showing images in which young children were sexually assaulted and tortured. Brooke Donohue, an FBI special agent called him the "largest facilitator of child porn on the planet" in testimony before the High Court.

Last month, Marques offered to plead guilty in Ireland to conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography with a sentence of up to four years. Claire Loftus of the Department of Public Prosecutions said Tuesday that no charges will be brought in Ireland.

The justice minister has the power to reject extradition in cases where Ireland has decided not to pursue charges. But that appears unlikely in this case.

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