Ex-US fighter pilot loses extradition battle over training Chinese military 

Daniel Duggan
Free Dan Duggan Campaign

A former United States (US) fighter pilot has been told by an Australian magistrate judge that he is eligible for extradition to the US over claims that he helped to train members of the Chinese military.  

Daniel Duggan appeared in Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney, on May 25, 2024, where Magistrate Daniel Reiss concluded that the former marine pilot met the conditions of a US extradition order. 

Duggan’s fate now rests in the hands of the Australian Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, who must give the final approval for the extradition before it can take place.  

Duggan, who will be forced to wait in custody for this decision, has up to 15 days to launch an appeal against the judgement.  

According to SBS News, the 55-year-old was detained in Australia and accused of breaching arms trafficking and money laundering laws by training Chinese pilots in South Africa between 2009 and 2012.  

Duggan was arrested in New South Wales 19 months ago, after returning from China to join his family in Australia and has been detained since, according to CNN.  

The US indictment alleges that Duggan taught Chinese fighter pilots to land aircraft on carriers. 

Duggan denies all claims made against him and the allegations that he trained Chinese pilots have not yet been tested in a court of law.  

Duggan’s supporters and family members insist that he is the victim of geopolitics, at a time when relations between China and the US are particularly strained.  

“This was no place to battle. There was no opening in the local court for my husband to run his case. Today was simply about ticking boxes, and it is time to move to the next stage. Now, we respectfully ask the Attorney-General to take another look at this case and bring my husband home,” Saffrine Duggan said outside the court.  

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