A Lebanese judge has named 60 Minutes executive producer Kirsty Thomson as having primary responsibility for the Beirut child snatching fiasco, according to a report today.
News Corp reports that documents from the case in Beirut state that Nine had paid for the operation by Adam Whittington’s Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI) at Thomson’s request.
“The Australian television was the one that funded the operation, through the sole call of Kirsty [Thompson],’’ a translated excerpt from one document states.
Prosecuting judge Rami Abdullah also found mother Sally Faulkner was critical to the entire operation and that she collaborated with Nine and Whittington.
He found Whittington planned the operation and the others executed it with the facilitation of Channel Nine. He said the TV crew knew of the kidnap operation and that cameraman Ben Williamson had documented the operation, but he reduced their charges to a misdemeanour because they were acting under instruction from their bosses.
Despite escaping a serious charge, the 60 Minutes crew may still find themselves before Lebanon’s criminal justice system after a last-minute addition to the indictment by the Mount Lebanon chief prosecutor Claude Karam.
The case now moves to the indictment chamber, before heading to the criminal court.
A spokeswoman from Nine said, “There will still be a trial on a date to be determined and out of respect for the Lebanese legal process we will not be making any further comment while the matter is still before the court.”