Who is Dan Duggan?

Dan Duggan, Australian Citizen and father of six, has been detained in maximum security since October 2022 on the say-so of the United States government. 

He has not been charged with an offence in Australia and has no criminal history anywhere in the world.

Dan Duggan is:

  • a father to six children, aged between 6 and 18
  • a loving husband, caring father, and a friendly neighbour
  • a distinguished pilot and a proud Australian
  • a sole Australian citizen since January 2012, who has called Australia home since 2002
Dan’s case is a test of Australian sovereignty. It is being fought by a struggling farming family in regional NSW at great personal and financial expense.

Dan is a former military pilot who has become the unwitting victim in a geo-political war between the United States and China. This is the same imaginary war that has recently seen the Australian government commit almost $400 billion to nuclear submarines under the AUKUS alliance.

Dan strongly denies all the 12-year-old allegations that have been made against him which relate to training Chinese military pilots in South Africa, in an indictment cobbled together and filed in 2017.

Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has the power to free him. Dan has been imprisoned in maximum security by the NSW government in direct contravention of United Nation treaties and any sense of morality and humanity.

Dan's incarceration has had a devastating emotional and financial stress on his family.

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Stella Assange and Saffrine Duggan had a lot to talk about at the national press club. 

Two strong women fighting for their families, torn apart by United States extradition.

Their husbands suffering terribly in max security solitary confinement, gagged from telling their stories.

Deliberate delays, withholding of information and appalling conditions

Dan was provisionally arrested on 21 October 2022 and has been in solitary confinement ever since.

Dan’s legal team did not formally receive any details of the indictment and why he was arrested until 22 December 2022 – the last working business day of the year and three days before Christmas and more than 60 days after he was provisionally arrested.

Dan himself did not receive any documentation about his charges until 28 December 2022.

While Dan and his legal team had no details of the indictment or allegations, aspects of the indictment were been leaked to the press in an apparent effort to manipulate the narrative.

The delay in receiving vital details of the indictment, which appear to be deliberate in nature, hindered his legal team to apply for bail. 

During this entire time, Dan was held in harsh maximum security conditions and mysteriously and unprecedently was classified as an extreme high risk restricted inmate.  This severely limited Dan from contact with his family and legal team, making it nearly impossible to mount an efficient, unhindered and unmonitored legal defence.

His legal team was given 21 calendar days to apply for an appeal during which time, the courts, legal profession, media, and in fact, the entire country was on its prolonged Christmas summer holiday.

Efforts to rightfully fight these charges and extradition have been frustrated by what appears to be an intentional attempt to withhold and delay legal documents.

Why is Dan being kept in the dark in such bad conditions?

Australian National University international law professor, Donald Rothwell said “a critical issue here is that the US is alleging offences against the state that extends to dealing with foreign interests. That is probably the basis on which the US has sought to have Duggan detained under these conditions.

“Nevertheless, it is ultimately for Australia to determine the conditions for detention for Duggan while he is in Australia, so that is a matter for Australian authorities and courts.”

Dan extradition fails two tests

The extradition request from US is based on the Treaty on Extradition between Australia and the United States of America treaty of extradition between the US and Australia. Most extradition treaties of this kind are criticized by legal professions the world over as being one of the most unfair areas of the law. 

The treaty does not require any evidence to be presented, only that the allegations come from law enforcement and that a formal administration process is followed.

These treaties are rarely used for allegations such as the ones levelled against Dan. Rather, they are designed to prosecute offenders of serious and violent crimes such as murder, rape and drug trafficking. Again, we believe this action is highly unusual, may be unprecedented and further raises suspicions about the political nature and timing of the arrest.

There are two strong initial defences amongst others which Dan’s legal team will argue on his behalf, regarding requirements that must be met to satisfy the approval of his extradition to US:

  1. There is a requirement of dual criminality which specifies Australia must have same law as the US that must be applied against Dan. In this aspect, there are no Australian charges against Duggan, nor have any Australians previously been charged with similar such offences. (For many years, Australian ex-servicemen  –  as well as their US colleagues – have supplied military services around the world. Most recently numerous Australians are currently in Ukraine)
  2. Charges cannot be political in nature, which these allegations appear to be, as they are from acts alleged to have taken place more than 10 years ago. The charges coincide with the current political and strategic rift between the United States and China.

Australian National University international law professor, Donald Rothwell

told the Sydney Morning Herald in February 2023 some of the crimes that Duggan is accused of are “very specific to US law and there is no Australian equivalent”.

“Double criminality is essential in all extradition matters,” Rothwell said. “It requires that the alleged crimes are ones mutually recognised in the requesting state and the requested state. The alleged crimes do not need to be exact duplicates in terms of the various elements of the offence and potential penalties. But they must bear similar core elements of the offence and potential penalties.”

International Lawyer, Human Rights advocate and veteran, Dr Glenn Kolomeitz said: “Unfortunately, in the US they say that a grand jury will ‘indict a ham sandwich’. I’ve torn the indictment of the grand jury in this case apart. It is riddled with inflammatory and irrelevant statements and the word ‘conspiracy’ 178 times alongside the word ‘China’, such that of course a grand jury is going to indict.

“What it doesn’t have is evidence linking Dan to those words. In fact, the indictment has so many holes in it, it’s a Swiss cheese and ham sandwich.”

“The extradition treaty is a disgrace, the Extradition Act is a disgrace, and the indictment is a disgrace.

“This is a very bad treaty and a very bad piece of legislation which is being exploited by the United States.”

On the allegation of money laundering, Canberra Barrister and whistle-blower, Bernard Collaery said:“There is not a skerrick of evidence suggesting any concealed payments,’’ Mr Collaery said. “This is an opportunistic misuse of the term money-laundering as understood in the Australian legal system.”

Help free Dan Duggan - political prisoner in NSW

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