Entertainment TV 60 Minutes case adjourned in Beirut

60 Minutes case adjourned in Beirut

Tara Brown is escorted from a Beirut court on Monday.
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The case involving Queensland mother Sally Faulkner and four 60 Minutes crew members has been adjourned until Wednesday in Beirut.

On Monday, Judge Remi Abdullah said the lawyers for both sides had demanded more time for negotiations.

Judge Abdullah did stress that the case had not been downgraded to a custody case, as Ms Faulkner’s lawyers had hoped, but that Ms Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew was facing charges of “kidnapping two kids”.

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The crew and Ms Faulkner have been in Beirut prisons since April 7, when they were caught attempting to remove Ms Faulkner’s two and five-year-old children from their grandmother at a bus stop.

Ms Faulkner is in a Beirut prison. Photo: Facebook/Supplied
Ms Faulkner is in a Beirut prison. Photo: Facebook

The children have been returned to their father, Lebanese man Ali Elamine, who on Monday he was not willing to drop the charges against his wife.

Mr Elamine said he believed if Ms Faulkner was given bail, the Nine Network would be likely to get off scot free, despite allegedly funding the “recovery operation”.

Ms Faulkner claims Mr Elamine took their two children to Lebanon in May last year and refused to bring them back to Australia as promised.

Mr Elamine says he never prevented Ms Faulkner from seeing the kids, but did cut off contact when he discovered emails on a family iPad suggesting she was planning to snatch the children and bring them back to Australia.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she had been in constant contact with her counterpart in Beirut, but emphasised the different protocols in Lebanon, where an investigating judge has to determine whether charges should be laid, Fairfax Media reported.

“In this case Lebanese law has given custody to the father. Australian law has given custody to the mother,” Ms Bishop said.

Both parents have the option of consenting to a joint commission between the two countries with the aim of mediating an outcome.

The case will resume on Wednesday.

with AAP/ABC

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