Wife of a former US military pilot accused by the United States of illegally training Chinese aviators stated that on Monday her husband was kept in inhumane conditions is fighting extradition from Australia.

Safryn Duggan said her husband, Daniel Duggan, had already been held for 115 days in a “tiny cell” at Sydney’s Silverwater Correctional Facility on pending US charges.

“He suffers from the most severe prison classification in Australia as a ‘particularly high risk prisoner’ despite having no previous (or current) criminal record,” she said in a statement.

“This is an unprecedented and affront to the rule of law in Australia and the manipulation of the Australian legal system by the United States, at the expense of the Australian taxpayer,” she said.

Having already lodged a complaint with Australia’s Inspector General for Intelligence and Security, Safryn Duggan said another complaint would be lodged with the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

“The manner and circumstances of Dan’s prosecution would be expected in an authoritarian country, but not in a democratic Australia where its citizens expect a fairer and more balanced equal application of the law and the principle of ‘fairness’ go for all,” she said.

Daniel Duggan, 54, was arrested last October outside his family home in Orange, New South Wales, and accused of organizing military training for pilots working for China.

He rejected the allegations, saying it was a “political” ploy by the United States, which unfairly singled him out.

His wife said the deal under which the FBI tried to extradite her husband was not used properly.

“The treaty specifically states that the alleged offenses under its provisions must not be ‘political in nature’, must require dual criminality – which is not the case in this case – and must be in Australia’s national interest,” she said. Dual criminal liability is illegal in both Australia and the United States.

The case is being heard in the Sydney courts, where a magistrate will decide whether Daniel Duggan is eligible for extradition. The hearing of the case is scheduled for March 20.

Daniel Duggan’s lawyer, Dennis Miralis, told reporters outside Sydney Local Court at the Downing Center on Monday that Australian and US government agencies were unwilling to hand over documents vital to Duggan’s defense.

“Unfortunately, to date we have not received the cooperation that we believe is necessary to ensure that Mr. Duggan’s rights are properly protected,” Miralis said. “Government agencies, perhaps unsurprisingly, refuse to provide documents based on confidentiality clauses.”

Born in Boston, Duggan served in the US Marine Corps for 12 years before immigrating to Australia in 2002. He became an Australian citizen in January 2012, choosing to renounce his US citizenship.

The 2016 indictment in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., was unsealed late last year. In it, prosecutors allege that Duggan conspired with others to train Chinese military pilots in 2010 and 2012, and possibly at other times, without applying for the appropriate license.

Prosecutors say Duggan received about nine payments totaling about A$88,000 ($61,000) and international travel from another co-conspirator for what is sometimes described as “personal development training.”

The indictment said Duggan traveled to the United States, China and South Africa and trained Chinese pilots in South Africa.


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