Ongoing detention of accused former US marine an ‘affront to Australia’s rule of law’, wife says

Lazy eyes listen


The wife of detained Australian citizen and former US Marines fighter pilot Daniel Duggan has described his ongoing incarceration – now at 115 days – as “inhumane” and a “affront to Australia’s rule of law”.

Saffrine Duggan plans to petition the UN Human Rights Committee to intervene in her husband’s detention. He is being held in a 2x4m cell in Sydney’s Silverwater prison and is being classified as a “extreme high-risk restricted inmate” without reason, she claims.

More than a decade ago, the US sought Duggan’s extradition on charges of arms trafficking and money laundering.

The US claims Duggan, a former US citizen who is now a naturalised Australian, trained Chinese fighter pilots to land fighter jets on aircraft carriers, in violation of arms trafficking laws, and was involved in a money-laundering conspiracy. Those claims have not been put to the test in court.

If convicted of training Chinese pilots, the US could seize two Australian properties owned by a former marine.
Duggan, 54, is being held in custody while he maintains his innocence and fights extradition.

On Monday, magistrate Greg Grogin heard from Duggan, who denied the charges against him and said he would fight extradition on the grounds of dual criminality and that his prosecution was politically motivated.

The court heard that Duggan had requested documents about his case from government and law enforcement agencies in Australia and the United States.

Dennis Miralis, Duggan’s lawyer, said outside court that government agencies in Australia and the United States had been reluctant to turn over documents critical to Duggan’s defense.

“Regrettably, to date, we haven’t been getting the cooperation that, in our view, would be essential to ensure that Mr Duggan’s rights are properly protected. Unsurprisingly, government agencies are refusing to produce documents due to secrecy provisions.”

According to Miralis, Duggan may be forced to file separate legal proceedings in order to obtain the government documents he requires.

“Mr Duggan is very anxious about … the fact that in order for him to be able to properly defend himself, he really needs to be able to get material that the government has. And he is very concerned that governments do not obstruct his ability to obtain that material.”

Duggan’s treatment has already been brought to the attention of Australia’s inspector general of intelligence and security.