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The New Daily
The New Daily
Miklos Bolza

‘Illegal’ ASIO conduct may halt ex-pilot’s extradition

Daniel Duggan has filed a stay application that could prevent him being extradited to the US. Photo:AAP

Potential misconduct by Australia’s spy agency could halt the United States’ bid to extradite a former fighter pilot accused of aiding the Chinese military.

Daniel Edmund Duggan, 54, has filed an application to temporarily stay a lawsuit in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court which could prevent the ex-pilot being extradited to the US to face criminal prosecution there.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Duggan’s lawyer Dennis Miralis said a hearing for the stay set for July 25 would give his client the chance to protect his rights to a fair hearing.

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has launched an inquiry into the circumstances of Duggan’s return to Australia from China after the pilot made a formal complaint to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

“The substance of the complaint fundamentally relates to whether or not ASIO has acted illegally or improperly in its dealings with Mr Duggan over an extended period of time,” Mr Miralis told reporters.

The lawyer has previously claimed the former pilot was “lured” back to Australia and then arrested.

The time granted by the stay is hoped to allow Duggan access to the findings of the IGIS’s report which he will then use in his defence against extradition.

“Dan knows that all the steps that have been taken are intended to secure his rights and to protect him, and to create the most favourable environment for him to be able to beat the extradition request from the US.”

Duggan’s lawyers will also argue the case should be stayed after a large number of documents sought through 140 separate Freedom of Information requests to government agencies were rejected.

Mr Miralis also said an application for bail could now be on foot, while acknowledging this could be “extremely difficult”.

Barrister Trent Glover said on Monday that the US would fight the stay application, arguing the Local Court did not have the power to halt the extradition.

Duggan has consistently denied the charges brought against him.

His wife Saffrine Duggan said she was glad her husband would get his day in court to try to halt the case, but was not happy that he would have to spend more time behind bars.

“I’m crushed that Dan now faces, at very least, another 86 days in maximum security solitary confinement with no Australian charges, no convictions anywhere, and no history of violence whatsoever,” she said.

“I’m not looking forward to explaining this to the six children. They will be devastated.”

Mrs Duggan has previously said her husband had been caught up in a political prosecution due to increasing hostilities between the US and China.

If the stay bid and a subsequent appeal is unsuccessful, a Local Court magistrate will hear submissions on whether Duggan is eligible for extradition to the US.


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