Ex-pilot may have been “attracted” to Australia for extradition

The US government sought to extradite an ex-pilot from the US and, prior to his arrest, enticed him to return to Australia with a job offer.

On Monday, Dennis Miralis, a lawyer at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney, announced that Daniel Edmund Duggan had been given clearance to get an aviation licence and, once 2022 arrives, will be able to come back from China and take up a job in Australia.

A few days after his coming, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation revoked the clearance they had previously given.

Mr Miralis expressed to reporters that it was remarkable to them that such a chain of circumstances could take place.

At the moment, we are investigating if the US enticed him to return to Australia with the awareness that he would be subject to extradition there.

According to Mr Miralis, it was legally permissible to manipulate security clearances in the US.

The legal team of the 54-year-old has sought after papers from numerous governmental bodies, such as the ASIO and the Australian Federal Police, in order to assess whether the prosecution was legitimate.

Mr Miralis declared that they needed the data to be sure that the individual’s repatriation to Australia was not conducted in a fashion that violated his legal and human rights domestically and internationally.

Duggan’s lawyer said he was relocated from the Silverwater remand centre to the maximum security prison in Lithgow without any justification given on Friday.

Mr Miralis mentioned that his customer was going through intense psychological and emotional strain while in prison, concerned about his relatives, apprehensive that he may not be given a just trial in the US, and uncertain of his safety if he was incarcerated there.

The attorney declared that this situation has taken a massive toll on him and that it is constantly on his mind.

The Duggan family, lacking access to legal aid, has initiated a fundraising effort to finance the costs associated with defending the case.

He has lodged a grievance with the United Nations Human Rights Commission concerning possible infringements of his rights while in detention.

Mr Miralis noted that the individual in question is still being held in segregation and in maximum security, and that they have not yet heard a response from the corrective services minister concerning why he is kept in such strict conditions.

The lawyer indicated that should a decision be made to not grant access to the material related to these reasons, an appeal would be filed due to the fact that these matters were considered essential for any bail applications that would be made by Duggan in the future.

The ex-marine has been charged with unlawfully providing instruction to pilots for the Chinese government’s armed forces. He has denied the allegations.

The Federal Police are looking into whether Keith Hartley, a former British pilot, provided assistance to Chinese pilots at an aeronautical academy in South Africa.

In November last year, a search warrant was executed at Mr Hartley’s residence and items were taken away. Subsequently, he has brought a legal case to the Federal Court to question the warrant’s legitimacy and to reclaim the taken items. Despite this, Mr Hartley has not been charged with any crime.

The Local Court will listen to arguments to decide if Duggan ought to be extradited to the US.

On Monday, Magistrate Grogin turned away the plea from attorney Glover, who was representing the US, to put the hearing off because Mr Miralis had asked for more time to get documents from governmental bodies and to bring up any denials of access to the data.

Mr Grogin expressed the gravity of the situation, noting that “a man’s freedom is on the line.”

The court is set to reconvene regarding this issue on the first of May.


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