Second night in Lebanon cell for 60 Minutes crew

2016-04-08_1326

60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice and sound man David Ballment are said to be in good health as they spend a second night behind bars in Lebanon, after being arrested in Beirut.

They have met with members of the Australian consulate and a lawyer.

They were detained on suspicion they were involved in the abduction of two children, daughters of Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner. A British citizen has also been detained suspected of planning to smuggle the children out, after they were taken to Lebanon by their father.

Video released on Lebanese television yesterday showed two young children being taken off the streets, whisked into a car which left two women behind, believed to be the children’s paternal grandmother and nanny.

“The man came down and hit me on the head with something and I was a little dizzy,” the children’s grandmother Ibtissam Berri told local broadcasters.

“They pulled the child from me, they hit the nanny and took the little girl.”

According to a police official the journalists said during questioning they were on a humanitarian mission and their aim was not to kidnap the children.

Michael Usher earlier told Nine News the events had “…obviously been very concerning for all of us here, but it is a relief to know that at least Australian officials are about to speak to them directly.”

In Beirut Nine’s Tom Steinfort gave an interview in which he claimed the father was declining to press charges in connection with the snatching of his children.

The Nine Network said efforts are underway to secure Brown and the crew’s safe return to Australia.

“We are working with authorities to get them released and home as soon as possible,” Nine said in a statement.

Source: Nine, Fairfax, News Corp

Updated.

15 Comments:

    • There are 4 players in this.:mother,child recovery agency, 9 tv and DFAT. Directly or indirectly – one of them was the payer and a shots caller here – all in one. And I am not talking about a “front man”.

    • Noticed Nine News (Sydney) was very subdued in reporting on it tonight. About 20 mins in and only a short mention, with Julie Bishop giving a brief comment. No Nine talking heads from Beirut.

  1. ABC24 reporting Lebanese authorities claiming to have statement by one of those involved that Nine paid $115,000 to someone for something relating to the abduction. If so, this is bad news for Nine’s people. If so, who on earth signed off on this? Did Nine legal know? Did they OK it? The claim by Nine that “the father was declining to press charges” would be totally irrelevant.

  2. I keep my fingers crossed for your quick release Tara. I still think , it would be much safer to report on an arbitrary/unlawful child removal/abduction from his father aided by Australian Government, as it was ruled in a last November by Geneva UN Human Tribunal in a Decision # CCPR 2279/2013 against Australian Government. The lack of interest from Australian media to report this notable UN Decision about an arbitrary/unlawful child removal aided by Australian Government ,and then the child alienation administered by same – seems to be a matrix procedure when it comes to sweeping up Australia’s own backyard. The complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva was lodged under the ICCPR by the author ( father of a child ) on his own behalf and on behalf of his son, on the 29 January 2013.
    Attorney General’s Department, Office of International Law in Canberra was the party to…

  3. Secret Squïrrel

    I said as much on the previous article altho’ I hadn’t yet seen the footage. Even if the film crew were not directly involved, the police will need to determine that and will nevertheless be interested in interviewing them as witnesses, possibly reluctant ones.

  4. oceanographer

    The abduction of children is a serious crime and if the 60 minutes crew are suspected of involvement in that crime then the Beirut police have every right to hold them in custody until they decide otherwise. The 60 minutes crew knew the consequences of being allegedly involved in this illegal activity and now have to accept them.

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