Contributed By Joe Montero
Daniel Duggan, the Australian citizen who the United States is trying to extradite to that country, to stand trial over the accusation of being a traitor, is in custody with no charge being brought against him.
He is accused of having trained Chinese pilots, involvement arms trafficking and money laundering. A little explanation is in order here. Daiel trained pilots in a commercial contract for commercial purposes, and money laundering is about getting paid for this work. The arms trafficking accusation is up for speculation. The real problem is that some of his students were Chinese, and he was once a US marine.
The alleged offenses were supposed to have taken place 10 years ago, when the relationships between China, and United States, and China and Australia were positive.
Photo by Gaye Gerard: The Duggan family and friends campaigning for Daniel
International layer Glen Kolomeitz has described the case as an example of “lapdog diplomacy from Australia.” This refers to the Australian government’s eagerness to please Washington, in its quest to get hold of an Australian in such dubious circumstances.
“This entire case has been Australia jumping through every hoop the United States have put up to extradite an Australian citizen and take him away from his Australian wife and his Australian kids … it’s real lapdog diplomacy from Australia,” he said.
This is a civil case and not a criminal one, and a misuse of the law.
Duggen has now been imprisoned in solitary confinement and put in solitary confinement for more than a year at the Lithgow Maximum Security Prison.
A new twist in the case is block against the Duggan family selling their home has been imposed via an application by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The reason, a US judge, Emmett G Sullivan has, made the restraining order and Australia complied. The new Sluth Wales Supreme Court ruled that a decision made in a foreign court has jurisdiction in Australia.
Sullivan has a reputation for his close connections with the democrat establishment.
The home was to be sold to help finance legal costs. By doing this, the Judge acted to hamper Daniel Duggan’s ability to defend himself. His legal costs will be more than $1 million. Any attempt to sell the property, the judge ruled, will be a criminal offence that could carry up to 5 years in prison. The Duggan home has been put under the control of NSW Trustees.
Here is a case of obvious overreach, and the whole case is being carried out under the Mutual Assistance Criminal Matters Act, which allows foreign countries to request their legal order to be served in Australia. But this is supposed to relate to serious crime and not be used as a cover for civil action.
Duggan is due to appear before the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney today. His lawyers will request access to classified documents relating to the case. The judge will decide whether to permit this or not.
There is good reason to be concerned. There is the matter of justice, of course. Australia should also be concerned about any case that compromises the sovereignty of Australia’s legal process, as this one clearly does. There is good reason to be concerned about the precedent that this sets, the political nature of the case, and the eagerness of the government to go down this road.
Daniel Duggan must be released and the attempt to extradite him blocked. This can only be achieved by standing up for Daniel Duggen, exposing hat is going, and winning public support to pressure the government to change course.