Sydney Court docket Postpones Extradition Listening to of Former US Navy Pilot Till Might

SYDNEY — A Sydney courtroom on Monday postponed an extradition listening to for a former U.S. army pilot accused of illegally coaching Chinese language aviators till Might as his legal professionals try to additional construct their case.

Boston-born Dan Duggan, 55, was scheduled to combat his extradition to the US at a Nov. 23 listening to within the downtown Downing Heart Native Court docket.

However a Justice of the Peace determined to make use of that date to rule on what extra info that the Australian protection division and safety businesses ought to present protection legal professionals.

U.S. lawyer Trent Glover informed the courtroom the US was able to proceed with the extradition, however had agreed with protection legal professionals the listening to ought to happen after November.

Duggan’s lawyer, Dennis Miralis, informed reporters exterior courtroom that the stakes have been excessive for his consumer, who faces as much as 65 years in jail if convicted.

“That is existential, which signifies that each proper that Dan has below the Australian authorized system on the premise that he’s presumed harmless … must correctly and punctiliously be thought-about,” Miralis mentioned.

Duggan’s spouse, Saffrine, has mentioned she requested Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to advocate in opposition to the extradition when he meets President Joe Biden in Washington this week.

However in a information convention on Sunday earlier than departing for the US, Albanese mentioned Duggan, who grew to become an Australian citizen in 2012, was not on the agenda of his conferences with U.S. officers.

“I don’t talk about issues which might be authorized issues on the run, nor ought to I,” Albanese informed reporters.

Duggan has been in custody since Oct. 21 final 12 months when he was arrested close to his house in Orange, New South Wales.

Duggan’s grounds for resisting extradition embody his declare that the prosecution is political and that the crime he’s accused of doesn’t exist below Australian legislation. The extradition treaty between the 2 nations states that an individual can solely be extradited for an allegation that’s acknowledged by each nations as a criminal offense.

Duggan’s legal professionals say they anticipate extra materials will show the overtly political features of the extradition request.

They declare the previous U.S. Marine Corps flying teacher was lured by Australian authorities from China in 2022 so he may very well be arrested and extradited.

Duggan maintains he has finished nothing mistaken and is an harmless sufferer of a worsening energy battle between Washington and Beijing.

In a 2016 indictment, prosecutors allege Duggan conspired with others to offer coaching to Chinese language army pilots in 2010 and 2012, and presumably at different occasions, with out making use of for an applicable license.

Prosecutors say Duggan acquired about 9 funds totaling round 88,000 Australian {dollars} ($61,000) and worldwide journey from one other conspirator for what was generally described as “private growth coaching.”

Duggan has mentioned the Chinese language pilots he educated whereas he labored for the Check Flying Academy of South Africa in 2011 and 2012 have been civilians, and nothing he taught was labeled.

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