60 Minutes Crew Hearing Postponed In Lebanon

18/04/2016 9:38 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Nine Network

The hearing into the botched child recovery operation which has left the 60 Minutes crew and Brisbane mum Sally Faulkner detained in Lebanon for almost two weeks has reportedly been adjourned until Wednesday.

The 60 Minutes crew -- including reporter Tara Brown -- and Faulkner fronted a Lebanese Court on Monday night (EAST), after Faulkner's estranged husband said he will not be dropping charges.

Ali Elamine told reporters outside the Baabda court that 60 Minutes "dropped the ball" and he will continue to "charge everyone involved".

“The way they are trying to push for this is that if Sally goes out on bail, they all get out,” Elamine said, according to The Herald Sun.

“They are pushing for Sal’s release and everyone else gets a green card. They dropped the ball by getting involved in family matters [and now] everyone is blaming the other for what happened.”

Tara Brown and the 60 Minutes crew have been held in Lebanese cells after their involvement in an attempted child recovery operation. They were in Beirut to film the operation involving Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner, whose ex-husband took her two children, Lahala and Noah, to Lebanon on a holiday and never returned them to Australia.

As the crew and Faulkner face another two nights in Lebanese cells, the debate on home soil during Q&A voiced uncertainties around Nine's involvement in the child snatching operation and empathy for Faulkner.

The Australian's Associate Editor Caroline Overington said the issue of children being taken abroad against one parent's will is a "massive" and growing problem in Australia.

"The Family Court can't help you and the police can't help you and Sally had no money so it seems to me maybe what has happened here as she has, in her desperation, reached for the help of the child retrieval experts and the media has seen this is a good story and jumped on board but before we know the facts it's very difficult to judge," Overington said on the program.

Former Leader of the Liberal Party John Hewson said on the program he hopes Faulkner will get shared custody at the conclusion of the court case in Lebanon.

"You would have to say the most wicked thing you can do is separate a mother from her children," Hewson said.

Last Wednesday, the crew and Faulkner appeared before a judge for questioning over the charges laid upon each of them which include kidnapping, physical assault and conspiring to commit a crime.

The judge urged Faulkner and Elamine to come to an agreement over access to the children. However the dispute was not resolved and Faulkner has remained behind bars along with the 60 Minutes crew. They are expected to apply for bail at the hearing.

On Monday night, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said a joint commission under a bilateral agreement between Australia and Lebanon can assist the custody dispute if the parents are willing.

"Lebanese law gives custody to the father, Australian law has given custody to the mother. Under this agreement we can set up a joint commission that would seek to mediate that difference between Lebanese law and Australian law, in the interests of the children. But the parents have to consent to that," Bishop said on The Project.

"We stand ready to set up such a joint commission, as do the Lebanese legal and political authorities, but we need the parents' consent in order to do that."

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