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Freedom Hosting Admin Still Losing Extradition Battle

Eric Eoin Marques, the alleged owner and operator of the defunct hidden service host “Freedom Hosting,” recently launched a judicial review in an attempt to end the impending extradition to the United States. Ireland arrested the 32-year-old in 2013 after receiving a provisional extradition request from the US. Since the arrest, Marques appealed the case several times, but employed a different tactic at his most recent High Court hearing.

Freedom Hosting (not to be confused with Freedom Hosting II) was, at one time, one of the largest hosts for hidden services. And the man knew of the content on his hosting service, but allegedly opted to let it stay online. And naturally, child abuse forums and bulletins ran rampant, according to the FBI. They also called Marques the world’s biggest “facilitator of child pornography.” (Not including the FBI themselves, despite the fact that they literally ran one of biggest forums during “Operation Pacifier.”)

The US charged Marques in connection with more than 100 sites filled with graphic child abuse, torture, and rape. And in doing so, exposed their Tor Browser Bundle (and Firefox) exploit that identified some users on certain versions of the TBB. Ireland had not filed any charges of their own against Marques. In an effort to avoid the miserable conditions of US prisons, Marques agreed to enter a guilty plea for the crimes in Ireland – if it allowed him to avoid prison time in the US.

In his latest attempt, Marques launched judicial review proceedings into a decision made by the Minister for Justice. Like the Director of Public Prosecution, the Minister for Justice turned down Marques’s request to enter a guilty plea in Ireland. Achieving to the defendant’s attorney, the Minister for Justice said, in a letter to the defense, that she made her decision independent of any thoughts from the DPP.

Because extradition to the United States would have “profoundly serious consequences,” the defense argued that the Minister for Justice “needed” to reveal to her the reason for turning down the motion by Marques. “We say this rendered the proposed extradition unfair and disproportionate.” The Court heard that it was necessary that the Minister review the reasons the DPP decided not to prosecute Marques. The defense argued that she had refused to use her discretion to stop the extradition.

Council for the Minister for Justice said the defense was wildly speculating and that the suspect had no reason for knowing the information they requested from the Minister for Justice. The hearing was planned to resume shortly afterwards.


  1. Utter ridiculousness. This man did not operate child abuse sites, he offered hosting, for free, to whomever wanted it by way of an anonymous network.
    Very good point about the FBI running and distributing content, where are those arrests? Or the arrests of the Aussie police that posted and distributed child abuse for a whole year?
    Extradition needs to be done away with. It is abused by the evil empire on a whim yet they themselves are never held accountable for anything.

    • ddgdv

      buddy are you ok? He was the admin of one of the forums and he knew very well of the others he was hosting. idk how he can defend this guy, he was a pedo and got caught.

      • the phantom

        are you OK?
        this is a political prosecution…
        in this case, the Repub. of Ireland is being the US’ bitch!
        from my ‘reading’ of it, all he did was set up the original ‘hosting’ site and, then, walked away from it…..who knows who was actually running it when the charges were preferred?
        maybe the FBI or the NCA…..that’s how those niggers roll!

      • Reltih

        Source on the him being an admin/running forum thing? Hadnt heard that before

  2. Eyes Wide Shut Doesn't Work

    Utterly ridiculous to defend this individual who knew exactly what he was hosting.

    • no-one here is “defending” pedos…the issue is whether or not the US has got the right to extradite any-one to their country who has not committed a real crime there….
      (a real crime being some-thing like, for instance, murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, burglary, car theft, embezzlement, major drug dealing etc);
      obviously, this fellow is well aware of the atrocious mis-carriage of justice vis a vis the Ross Ulbricht case and is fully determined not to let the same thing occur to him…..

  3. Web-hosting is not a crime.

    • the phantom

      and…its most certainly not “an extriditable offence”;
      these US control freaks are using and abusing a legitimate law to apprehend violent felons who abscond to other countries…..they are twisting it so that some-one who has not committed a crime in their country can be brought back and face a kangaroo court hearing a la Ross Ulbricht….
      no wonder people no longer respect cops or ‘the law’……

  4. Probably the FBI will get away with what they did, as always.

  5. So basically he’s being held responsible for other people’s actions.
    He even put on his site that he didn’t give permission for illegal files.
    Sounds like he’s being used as a scapegoat.
    The people who uploaded the illegal files should be the ones getting arrested.
    Or is it they can’t find them so he’s the next best thing?
    That’s like arresting the head of google or YouTube for illegal content. Or the head of Facebook or twitter!!

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