Daniel Duggan: wife ‘devastated’ as court blocks bid to sell NSW property to fund defence of pilot wanted in the US | New South Wales #Daniel #Duggan #wife #devastated #court #blocks #bid #sell #NSW #property #fund #defence #pilot #wanted #South #Wales

The wife of an Australian pilot wanted in the US over allegations he accepted lucrative contracts to illegally train Chinese naval pilots will not be able to sell her New South Wales property to fund his legal battle.

Daniel Duggan is being held in prison in NSW while he fights extradition over charges of conspiracy, arms trafficking and money laundering relating to allegations he accepted cash to train Chinese military pilots more than a decade ago.

The NSW supreme court on Wednesday dismissed a bid by Duggan’s lawyers to prevent the Australian federal police from seizing a multimillion-dollar property owned by his wife, Saffrine.

Saffrine had put the “Bundaleer” acreage on the NSW south coast, where she and her husband were building a house, on the market to help pay his lawyers before the AFP applied to seize it on behalf of the US on 31 October.

The AFP will be allowed to carry out a foreign restraining order on the Saddleback Mountain property, which a US court imposed in early October.

On Wednesday, Justice Nicholas Chen dismissed Duggan’s application for the order to be overturned.

At a hearing earlier this month, Duggan’s lawyers argued the restraining order should be thrown out because the AFP had made two errors on an affidavit they provided the supreme court.

These included mistakenly naming Duggan as director of Power Art Trading, the Hong Kong-registered company which owns the property. Saffrine is its sole director.

Under cross-examination earlier this month, the AFP officer who prepared the affidavit, Simon Moore, said he had made an “error” and that he regretted it had occurred.

Barrister Greg O’Mahoney, acting on behalf of the AFP commissioner, told the court at the time that Moore’s mistake was “innocent” and had not been “deliberate”.

He said there was no need for Duggan to be directly linked to the property under the mutual agreement Australia has with some foreign countries, including the US, about seizing proceeds of alleged crimes.

Chen on Wednesday found the AFP’s errors were “innocent” and at most of “peripheral evidential relevance”.

“It is, in my respectful view, not open to characterise that matter as material in any sense,” he wrote.

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The misstatements were neither deliberate nor intentional but were rather the “product of innocent inadvertence and inattention to detail”, Chen said.

Saffrine bought the property in 2014 for $1.15m. The partially completed seven-bedroom homestead was no longer for listed for sale online after Wednesday’s decision.

In a statement, Saffrine said she was “extremely disappointed” and “devastated” by Chen’s decision.

“It will … make it very difficult for us to fight for justice for my beloved husband who has been locked up in solitary confinement without local charges for almost 14 months,” she said.

“We not only face a second Christmas without Dan, this decision makes it near impossible for us to fight for his freedom.”

A spokesperson for Corrective Services NSW on Wednesday said the state “does not use” solitary confinement, although they conceded Duggan was housed in a one-person cell with a small outside yard.

If convicted in the US, Duggan faces up to 60 years in prison. Australia does not have equivalent laws.

#Daniel #Duggan #wife #devastated #court #blocks #bid #sell #NSW #property #fund #defence #pilot #wanted #South #Wales

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