Injunction to stop 60 Minutes story fails

An injunction to stop tomorrow night’s episode of 60 Minutes from proceeding has failed in the Victorian Supreme Court.

The grandmother of the three girls at the centre of a high-profile international custody dispute sought to have her image removed from the story due to fears for her safety and reputation.

She claims she was pressured into participating by producer, Steve Burling, despite repeatedly telling him she did not wish to be involved.

The Age details a number of claims she made about the show contravening agreements with her, including using vision of her interview. She believes these compromise her safety, having received daily death threats from hate groups and vigilante fathers groups.

She claims Burling ignored her calls and said use of the vision was “out of his hands.”

In the story which airs tomorrow, 60 Minutes accuses the government of knowingly aiding and abetting an international kidnap.

It’s been the most public and bitter of family feuds – two parents, four children split across the world and splashed all over the media. The story begins with a desperate escape. Mum, Laura, flees Italy and her allegedly violent Italian husband, to return home with the couple’s four daughters. Two years later, the Australian Federal Police arrive on the doorstep and literally drag the children onto a plane back to Italy. Watching those girls struggle against the police and scream for their mother, it all seemed so heavy handed and so wrong. But there are two sides to every story and this Sunday night for the first time, you’ll hear what Dad’s got to say. And there’s a third player in this sorry tale: the Australian government which knowingly aided and abetted an international kidnap.
Reporter: Tara Brown
Producers: Gareth Harvey, Steven Burling

7:30pm Sunday on Nine.


  1. Ok, I think you must be referring to DFAT’s assistance to the mother in bringing the children to Australia in the first place.

    Whilst their role is to provide assistance to Australian citizens, you would have thought that DFAT staff would be cognizant of international law and not pissing off other countries. Guess Italy rates a little lower down the list than the US.

  2. @deano3433 – now I’m confused. Didn’t the Australian Govt return the children to their father, in accordance with international law, as he was their legal guardian?

    I didn’t watch the program and haven’t really followed the case so I may be missing something but I’m not sure how the father got a raw deal here.

  3. It was yet again another governmental decision made with total bias and disregard for the father. it wasn’t because he was Italian. It was because he was male as all legal decisions regarding men are dealt with in the same manner. Lying is simply part of the accepted and encouraged process. And now she will likely try to sue the government. I hope she does.

  4. I’m a bit confused as to how 60 Mins call this a kidnapping? Didn’t the mother “kidnap” the girls? I thought the father had legal custody…. as I said, confused.

  5. I wish I could say viewers are likely to gain a good understanding of this case thanks to 60 Minutes covering it, but I can’t. 60 Minutes is sheer tabloid dreck dressed up as information, nowadays they’re at best half a step up from ACA and TT.

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