News National ASIC may come after 60 Minutes: PM

ASIC may come after 60 Minutes: PM

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The corporate watchdog might be interested in the Nine Network’s efforts to release its crew from a prison in Beirut, according to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The 60 minutes crew involved in a botched attempt to remove two children in Beirut two weeks ago has arrived back in Australia.

Questions are now being raised about whether the broadcaster paid for the release of journalist Tara Brown and her crew, after being arrested earlier this month.

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Mr Turnbull has told Sydney radio station 2SM that the actions of the crew “appears to have been most unwise”.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or who you work for, when you are overseas — if you’re an Australian — you must obey the laws of the country in which you were visiting,” he said. “Nobody is above the law.”

Mr Turnbull said that their actions “would be of interest to various regulatory agencies”.

Mr Turnbull’s comments come as the lawyer for the head of the child recovery firm still in Lebanon, and facing charges of child abduction at a court in Beirut, has provided the court with a document purporting a payment of almost $70,000 from TCN Channel Nine to the firm.

In a separate development, ABC’s 7.30 report confirmed controversial former NSW politician Eddie Obeid was approached by a friend of his at the Nine Network, and made a number of calls to senior Lebanese politicians in relation to the case.

Mr Obeid was born in Lebanon.

Nine has issued an emphatic denial that it approached Mr Obeid directly or indirectly, saying the allegation is completely false.

Sally Faulkner, the mother of the children involved in the botched abduction, spent her final visit with her two children at a suburban McDonalds in Beirut.

Her estranged husband Ali Elamine said they had ice-cream, that she hugged the children a lot, and that afterwards, she was in tears.

Ms Faulkner is now free to leave Beirut and go back to Australia.


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