Lawyers for the “Top Gun” pilot are writing to the US Ambassador, demanding that the extradition be halted

He said Thursday he had written to Kennedy, Rudd and the US Department of Justice to request that his client’s extradition be withdrawn until the inspector general’s investigation was complete.

“We have not received a response to date, but we have notified the US Ambassador as well as the US Department of Justice that we will be taking this correspondence to court to support a motion for a stay,” Miralis said.

Duggan's wife Saffrine on the family farm in Orange with their six children.

Duggan’s wife Saffrine on the family farm in Orange with their six children.Credit: Monique Lovic

He said he alerted Rudd that the case could affect US-Australia relations.

Miralis said it was possible for the US to withdraw the extradition request and make another request later if it deemed it necessary.

He said if extradition is not withdrawn by May 1, when Duggan’s case should be mentioned in Downing Center Magistrates’ Court, he will seek a timetable for the stay request.


“The course we are proposing should be that the US should not have the right to continue its proceedings in an Australian court until the independent IGIS investigation is properly completed,” Miralis said.

He said his client was suffering from “acute mental distress” from being held in a maximum security prison and frequently mentioned his six children.

Last week, Duggan’s wife, Saffrine, wrote Kennedy separately to call for the extradition to be halted, outlining the “catastrophic” and “debilitating” impact on her family.

“We just don’t understand why the United States is relentlessly pursuing a man who served your country as a Marine and is now an Australian citizen, on 11-year-old allegations compiled by the Trump administration in 2017, and the Dan emphatically denies,” she wrote last week. “I’m sure you’ll agree it has to stop today.”

Ms Duggan said the allegations depended on “a controversial allegation of training ‘military’ pilots without a permit” but “a permit was not required because the trainees were civilians”.

“[S]Such an offense would normally have a five-year statute of limitations,” she said. “Yet my husband remains in a maximum security prison in clear violation of his human rights.”

Duggan used to run Top Gun Tasmania, a Hobart-based company that offered sightseeing flights in fighter jets.

The case returns to court on May 1.

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Justin Scaccy

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