- Former US Marine Daniel Edmund Duggan was arrested in Australia on October 21 at the request of Washington.
- The father of six recently returned from China.
- His arrest came as the British government warned of China’s recruitment of retired military pilots.
A former United States fighter pilot detained under a veil of secrecy in Australia will “vigorously” fight his extradition to the United States and is seeking an intelligence watchdog intervention, his lawyer said Friday. Is.
Former US Marine Daniel Edmond Duggan the same week the UK government issued a rare warning about China’s recruitment of retired military pilots.
The Australian government has confirmed that Mr Duggan, 54, was arrested at the request of Washington, although US officials have declined to say more and the charges are sealed.
Mr. Duggan was a “prominent” fighter jet pilot, a fellow ex-Marine told the AFP news agency, and had recently worked in China training commercial flight crews.
The British government has expressed concern that China may recruit retired military pilots from other countries. Source: AAP / Fu Gan
Defense lawyer Dennis Miralles said he would file a complaint about the conduct of Australian intelligence officers during Duggan’s arrest.
Mr Miralis said Mr Duggan’s extradition should be put on hold until the complaint by Australia’s intelligence watchdog was resolved.
“We will file a complaint with the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, which deals with complaints against national security officials,” Mr. Miralles told reporters.
“Mr Duggan is an Australian citizen. We ask the US not to interfere.”
Mr Miralles, speaking outside Sydney’s local court after a brief administrative hearing, did not specify what the complaint might cover.
He criticized the US government’s handling of Mr Duggan’s arrest, saying he did not yet know much about the charges.
“There is no factual material to support the way he was secretly indicted in the US,” he said.
Mr Duggan, a father of six, had recently returned from China when he was arrested in the rural town of Orange, about four hours west of Sydney.
Mr Miralles said Mr Duggan was a “proud Australian” and no longer held US citizenship.
“He denies violating any US law, any Australian law, and any international law,” Mr Miralles said.
“It’s a position he will vigorously defend.”
Both the UK and Australian governments have recently highlighted concerns that Beijing is poaching retired pilots to train China’s air force.
China’s Foreign Ministry has denied any knowledge of the employment of UK pilots after British media reported that more than 30 pilots had accepted lucrative offers to train China’s military.
Mr Duggan’s company website says he spent more than a decade flying in the US Marine Corps, rising to the rank of major and serving as a tactical flight instructor.
He ran an adventure flight company in Australia after leaving the Marines, then moved to Beijing around 2014, company records show.
Mr Miralles said he had also launched a separate complaint about Mr Duggan’s treatment in prison.
They alleged that a prison officer “directly interfered” during a legally protected conversation between Mr Duggan and his lawyers.
Mr Miralis also said Mr Duggan would soon be transferred to a maximum security facility in New South Wales.
“We are concerned about this dramatic and aggressive move,” Mr. Miralles said.
“He’s holding up as well as you might expect under these unusual circumstances.”
Mr Duggan’s case will return to court at the end of November.