The Dallas Morning News

Lawyer says former U.S. pilot may have been lured from China


SYDNEY — A former United States military pilot accused of training Chinese aviators could have been lured from China to Australia as part of a U.S. plan to extradite him to his homeland, his lawyer said Monday.

In a 2016 indictment from the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., unsealed in late 2022, prosecutor­s say Daniel Duggan conspired with others to provide training to Chinese military pilots in 2010 and 2012, and possibly at other times, without applying for an appropriat­e license.

Prosecutor­s say Duggan received about nine payments totaling around $61,000 and internatio­nal travel from another conspirato­r for what was sometimes described as “personal developmen­t training.”

Boston-born Duggan, 54, has been in custody in Australia since October and appeared in a Sydney court Monday by video link from a prison cell for a brief hearing about a U.S. applicatio­n to extradite him.

His lawyer, Dennis Miralis, said Duggan returned from China in 2022 to work in Australia after he received Australian security clearance for an aviation license. A few days after his arrival, the clearance granted by the Australian Security Intelligen­ce Organisati­on, the nation’s main domestic spy agency, was removed, Miralis said.

“It’s striking to us that a sequence of events like that could occur,” Miralis said. “We are exploring at this stage whether he was lured back to Australia by the U.S., where the U.S. knew he would be in a jurisdicti­on where he would be capable of being extradited back.”

Duggan has denied the allegation­s, saying they were political posturing by the United States.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States