A legal debacle has emerged in what can only be described as yet another sad example of Australia’s relentless and wilful persecution of Australian citizen Daniel Duggan and his family on behalf of the United States.
Earlier this month, a hastily and sloppily prepared AFP affidavit riddled with typos, mistakes and misleading information was secretly submitted (ex parte) to the NSW Supreme Court.
The AFP’s false affidavit again weaponised the Australian legal system against Dan, his wife Saffrine and his six children on behalf of the US government, all paid for by Australian taxpayers.
Most Australians might believe that secret ex parte courts where allegations can be laid and property seized, without the defendant or legal representation getting a chance to contest, only happen in authoritarian countries. Not so.
In fact, the geopolitical persecution against Daniel Duggan dates began in 2016 in another secret court in the US which indicted Dan for allegedly training Chinese military pilots while working as a flight instructor to a civilian South African test flying school 12 years ago. Dan rejects these allegations entirely.
The indictment, however, led to his arrest on the 21st of October 2022 and he has been in maximum security solitary confinement in Australian prisons ever since. Put simply, his presumption of innocence was trampled on.
Dan is now forced to fight extradition to the United States from solitary, despite have no Australian charges or previous criminal history of any kind. The father of six children is locked up in maximum security with severely limited communications, trying to navigate a complicated and expensive legal system that appears to be stacked against him.
This harsh, heavy-handed treatment is no accident. Akin to the Robodebt scandal, it is deliberately cruel and designed to break a person psychologically, emotionally and financially. Dan’s legal fees are mounting quickly and, while he has no Australian charges against him, he has no access to legal aid nor has he or his family received any support from the Australian governments, be it federal or state.
One might wonder what are the benefits of an Australian citizenship when a foreign government can persecute you inside Australia, and the Australian government assists them in doing so with no regard to your welfare or the welfare of your family, including six children.
If that weren’t bad enough, in a mean-spirited deliberate move to cause as much duress as possible on this Australian family, this disgraceful, false affidavit has been filed by the AFP again in secret ex parte hearing.
It is an attempt to seize a property solely owned by Dan’s wife, Saffrine, and which was in the process of being sold in order to pay for more than a $1 million in legal fees mounting, and the future of the children.
This is all part and parcel of the US government’s extradition playbook designed to cause as much psychological, emotional and financial duress as possible to force them to give up. It’s all enshrined in one of the most unjust legal instruments in the country, the Extradition Treaty.
As unfair as this treaty is, it still requires two main thresholds to be met:
- principle of dual criminality requiring an equivalence of law in both countries which is not the case in Dan’s matter, and
- the principle that the allegation cannot be of a “political character”, which is certainly the case when in comes to anything related to China in the current environment.
As a sovereign nation, is the Australian government’s primary responsibility to prioritise the welfare and interests of its citizens over that of a foreign government?
Throughout the entire extradition proceedings against Dan, we have witnessed a disgraceful display of lapdog politics.
False affidavits and improprieties that don’t stand up to scrutiny, and certainly don’t pass the Australian pub test.
It’s hardly what we expect of the land of a fair go.
When coupled with other matters like David McBride, Richard Boyle and Julian Assange, it helps explain why faith and trust in government is now at an historic, all-time low.
If you believe Dan’s persecution is unfair and unjust, please sign the petition at FreeDanDuggan.org, to urge the Australian government to vacate this extradition request and be on the right side of history.
Please also consider making a donation to help the family pay its huge legal costs and survive through this extremely unfair abuse of power. https://chuffed.org/project/freedanduggan-campaign