Previous U.S. pilot could have been lured to Australia for extradition, attorney claims

FILE – In this graphic created from online video, Dennis Miralis, attorney for former U.S. army pilot Daniel Duggan, speaks to the media outside the house the court docket in Sydney, on Jan. 10, 2023. A previous United States army pilot accused of instruction Chinese aviators could have been lured from China to Australia as element of a U.S. plan to extradite him to his homeland, his lawyer said Monday, March 20, 2023, (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP, File)The Associated Press

A previous United States military services pilot accused of teaching Chinese aviators could have been lured from China to Australia as section of a U.S. approach to extradite him to his homeland, his attorney explained Monday.

In a 2016 indictment from the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., unsealed late 2022, prosecutors say Daniel Duggan conspired with other people to give training to Chinese military pilots in 2010 and 2012, and maybe at other instances, with no making use of for an appropriate license.

Prosecutors say Duggan acquired about 9 payments totalling close to 88,000 Australian bucks ($61,000) and international vacation from one more conspirator for what was in some cases explained as “personal development teaching.”

Boston-born Duggan, 54, has been in custody in Australia considering the fact that October and appeared in a Sydney courtroom Monday by video link from a jail cell for a short hearing about a U.S. software to extradite him.

His attorney, Dennis Miralis, instructed reporters exterior the court that Duggan returned from China in 2022 to work in Australia immediately after he obtained an Australian safety clearance for an aviation license. A number of times right after his arrival, the clearance granted by the Australian Stability Intelligence Organisation, the nation’s key domestic spy agency, was eliminated, Miralis reported.

“It’s striking to us that a sequence of functions like that could arise,” Miralis explained. “We are discovering at this stage whether he was lured again to Australia by the U.S., the place the U.S. understood he would be in a jurisdiction in which he would be capable of getting extradited again.”

Duggan served in the U.S. Marines for 12 decades before immigrating to Australia in 2002. In January 2012, he obtained Australian citizenship, choosing to give up his U.S. citizenship in the method.

The indictment states Duggan travelled to the U.S., China and South Africa, and offered some teaching to Chinese pilots in South Africa.

Duggan has denied the allegations, declaring they were being political posturing by the United States, which unfairly singled him out.

His upcoming courtroom overall look is set for May possibly 1.

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