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Pilot's family calls on NSW to back home detention bid

Former US military pilot Daniel Duggan, his wife Saffrine and their children. (PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO) (AAP)

The wife of a former United States pilot incarcerated in NSW wants him moved to home detention while he contests extradition and farewells his dying mother.

Daniel Edmund Duggan, 54, was last week moved from Sydney's Silverwater remand centre to a maximum security prison in Lithgow, predominantly holding sentenced offenders.

"Dan is no danger to anyone nor a flight risk, but he is in potential danger in prison with terrorists and other hardened criminals," his wife Saffrine said on Wednesday.

"Surely this is not right."

Mrs Duggan called on all NSW political parties to heed her call, ahead of Saturday's election, saying conditions in prison were hampering access to due legal process.

The father of six was arrested in October 2022 after the US government accused him of money laundering, and committing offences under US arms export control laws, claims he denies.

According to a 2017 indictment unsealed by a US court in December, Duggan "provided military training to PRC (People's Republic of China) pilots" through a South African flight school on three occasions in 2010 and 2012, while he was a US citizen. He became an Australian citizen in 2012, 10 years after leaving the US marines.

Home detention at his family's property in Orange, a 100-minute drive from the prison, would significantly lighten the financial and emotional burden on the family, Mrs Duggan said.

It would also make it easier to communicate with his US-based family after his mother, 95, had a stroke in Boston on Tuesday night.

"The way Dan is being treated in a NSW prison, under NSW law, is unprecedented and an affront to Australia's rule of law and manipulation of the Australian legal system by the United States, at the expense of the Australian taxpayer," Mrs Duggan said.

"The NSW government should not stand for this treatment of its citizens."

Duggan's supporters had previously raised issues with the conditions he was under in Silverwater.

Corrective Services NSW said it did not comment on the status of individual inmates.

It has previously said it took great care to determine appropriate security classifications and placements for inmates.

The case is proceeding through the NSW local court where a magistrate will decide whether Duggan is eligible for extradition. It will then be up to federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to make the final call.

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