60 Minutes judge: “No chance charges will be dropped”


The 60 Minutes crew facing kidnapping charges in Lebanon have been remanded in custody to reappear before a judge on Monday.

Reporter Tara Brown appeared first before Judge Rami Abdullah, handcuffed and escorted by security officials. She was soon followed by Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner and later producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment, three local men and two Britons: Adam Whittington and Craig Michael – members of the ‘child recovery agency.’

They face charges of kidnapping, harm and disrespect for authorities over the failed attempt to snatch Ms Faulkner’s children, who had been living with their father in Beirut. If found guilty they could face up to 20 years in jail.

Nine News boss Darren Wick also attended to support his team, but declined to comment.

Journalists were forced to delete all photos and videos on their devices before being led into the court room.

In an encouraging sign, the judge ordered Ms Faulkner to reach an agreement with her estranged husband and father of their two children Ali Elamine.

But he also stated “There is no chance the charges will be dropped. It is a violation of the Lebanese law by all of these people.”

From her Lebanese cell, Tara Brown said, “Quite genuinely we are being treated well by the standards here, it’s fine, it’s not crowded.

“It really is quite hard to gauge at the moment what is happening so we are going through a process, we’ll see.”

The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying it did now want the incident to affect the relationship between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Mr Bassil said he had given instructions to form a joint Lebanese-Australian committee to resolve the custody case of the two children.

“Australians should respect Lebanese laws and the Lebanese should respect Australian laws,” he said.

Source: News Corp, Fairfax, AAP


  1. oceanographer

    I notice the Today show is has failed to mention these events in their show apart from the very brief mentions in their news service, I would of thought events like these would been on their ‘mixed grill’ segment instead this morning they talked about women only parking bays and personal trainers – are these really the biggest news events going on right now? Nine are obviously hiding behind other news stories to try and bury this one. The less Nine want to talk about these events, the more their credibility shrinks to new lows and the more viewers will tune out.

    • Why would they? It’s a serious situation that a running commentary could make worse. Heads will and should roll at Nine. Tara Brown is copping a lot of flak but at the end of the day she is the ‘talent’. She doesn’t sign a $115,000 cheque.

  2. I can see a mini-series being produced by Nine about this,that’s how the media works anything for a headline,sorry I don’t have much respect for the fta media apart from the ABC and SBS

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