The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will look into allegations 60 Minutes paid $115,000 to a controversial ‘child recovery agency.’
“There is a compassionate element to this case, because of course it involves children,” Minister Julie Bishop said yesterday.
“We are providing as much support as we can, meeting with officials within the Lebanese government and doing what we can to ascertain what is proposed, in relation to the crew and the alleged involvement of the crew in this case.”
ABC reported that Lebanese authorities say they now have a signed statement from a member of the “recovery team” who says Nine paid $115,000 for the operation.
But the statement is uncorroborated, and the ABC has not seen it.
60 Minutes travelled to Lebanon to film Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner’s attempt to take the children from their father using a controversial ‘child recovery agency.’ But the attempt was botched when the child recovery agents were arrested, and has landed the 60 Minutes crew and Ms. Faulkner behind bars.
ABC reported that in detention Tara Brown and Ms. Faulkner have been kept shackled together with handcuffs.
“Officials of the Australian Embassy in Beirut are continuing to visit the Australians in detention to confirm their welfare and are providing consular assistance,” a DFAT spokesman said.