The absurdity of trying to whitewash the 60 minute kidnapping by using kids


Of course, the journalists’ family has gone to the media to try and tug on the heart strings

Worried families of the Australian 60 Minutes television crew detained in Lebanon over a kidnapping case say they have not told some of their children what’s happening.

They have spoken of their anguish for the first time since journalist Tara Brown and her crew, Benjamin Williamson, David Ballment and Stephen Rice, were arrested on April 7.

“It’s not an easy conversation to have with a five- or seven-year-old who ask as they go to sleep each night when mummy or daddy is coming home,” the families said in a joint statement reported by the Nine Network on Sunday.

The 60 Minutes crew and Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner are in jail, facing kidnapping charges after they allegedly tried to retrieve Ms Faulkner’s two children from their father, Ali Elamine.

Despite the urging of a Lebanese judge to end their custody battle, lawyers negotiating on behalf of Ms Faulkner and her estranged Lebanese-American husband have failed to reach agreement and the case will return to court on Monday.

The families of the Nine crew are trying to stay strong.

“From what we know, they are in good health, keeping their spirits up and are being looked after by the Lebanese authorities.

“You can’t imagine how comforting it is to know that. That is all that is getting us through at the moment.”

Of course it is normal to want them back unharmed, but the absolute stupidity of flying to another country to be part of a crew that was intending to kidnap children isn’t a minor matter.

Doesn’t stop the families saying how their own children are affected because “loophole” parents are now in jail in Lebanon.

There are only losers here, including, once again, media credibility.

Sorry kids, but your mummy and daddy went off to steal some children from another country.


– AAP via ODT


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  • Steve

    There was a time when journalists especially the investigative kind actually reported the news. What we have now is the media (lacking of any really skilled investigative journalists) trying to make up the news. What has happened here, I would hope is a wake up call for our own so called journalists to get back to journalism 101.
    I really have no sympathy for the people involved here

    • MaryLou

      Yes, it will be interesting to see if the get off as easily as the Kia Ora Gaza “blockade runners”. Lebanon is not Israel.

  • Orange

    I had thought initially that they were going to cover something happening already, but more recent reports have the whole thing being their idea and paying for the professional kidnapper to work for them. Walking straight into Hezbollah main street…

  • Ginny

    Why do these media people think they are above the law? In places like Lebanon, wouldn’t it be logical to keep your head down and observe the laws of the country? I suppose they are asking the Australian government to intervene, but why should they? No sympathy.

  • Odd Ball

    I’ve been watching this story with interest. It’s notable that Aussies tend to have a superiority complex, when it comes to the rest of the world.
    Every now & then, reality bites, and they whinge for a long time about it.

    Another time this has happened, was when 2 Aussies working for Greenpeace got arrested in Russia over an oil platform, and spent some time in jail.

  • If it was an Al Jazeera crew and father snatching kids off the street in Sydney – I’m picking the stories and media party narrative would be quite different and they would be baying for the full penalty

    • Not really. The progressive media would not dare offend the sensibilities of Muslims.

  • waldopepper

    perhaps they could use the loophole excuse ?

  • Stuarts.burgers

    Lebanon has not signed the Hague Convention, the Mother has custody, so how and why did the kids wind up in Lebanon.
    The actions of the Channel 9 team and the kidnappers are not to be condoned but I think there is a bigger back story here. Were the children allowed to go to Lebanon by their mother or the courts or were they kidnapped in the first place.

    • Huia

      Apparently Mum has custody but let her ex take the children to his home country, supposedly to visit their grandparents there.
      He just didn’t come back and return them.
      Naïve of the mother to allow them to go but I guess she thought she was doing the right thing at that time.
      Legally they should be returned to Australia to their mother.
      The journalists in my view didn’t care about the mother, children, father or grandparents, they just wanted a story and as usual step over the line (all in the publics interest of course) and break the law or try and find a “loophole”.
      Break the law in another country and you abide by the punishments dolled out.

    • Doug

      That is true, I have no doubt there is much more to the story than has become common knowledge, but that in no way whatsoever condones what has been done, as we all have been taught, two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • Dave

    This is a big deal here, several reports a day in almost all media. The mother had custody, daddy dearest asked for them to visit, against all rational thought mum agreed, and after they arrived, he said they are not ever coming back, they are my kids. As Stuart,burgers mentions, Lebanon has not signed the Hague convention, and they do not recognize the mum as their guardian / parent as she is not a Lebanese citizen, so its all about the father. Lebanon’s laws will not recognize the mother at all, nor the fact the children are Australian Citizens, just the kidnapping, and the kidnappers. By all accounts the “steal them back” was a very amateurish show, and the rest is documented. Best advise for the future, Don’t have a relationship with a partner from a country who has not signed the Hague convention, and then if you do, do not allow the kids to visit the other parent in their country. I doubt the 60 minutes crew are coming back soon, they are likely going to spend time in a Lebanese jail.

    • KatB

      Sad for the mum. That was probably her one and only chance to get those kids back. As wrong as it may seem to us, she probably knew those kids wouldn’t come back to her any other way. I hope the kids are happy with dad, hopefully they do not suffer too much through this separation.

    • Mark

      As you said against all rational thought. I don’t have children,but even I am aware that this is the likely outcome, does no one pay any attention any longer?

      The key to retrieval is always finding a way through the minefield of con artists,state agencies and bad luck,while keeping your damn mouth shut. An example of almost total failure on all accounts.

  • Anthony

    Having failed the don’t get caught rule, time to face the music. If some Lebanese flew over to Australia, bashed grandma to the ground and kidnaped some kids, there is no way they’d be sent home prior to a few years in jail. By sharia law he had custody, and sharia isn’t known for wet bus ticket punishments. In Iran or Saudi, kidnapping is punishable by death.

  • Rick H

    This is the very sort of thing Comrade Campbell was trying to do, over recent years before his dismissal. (I bet he wishes he was a part of this)

    The End justifies the means.
    Irregardless of whatever laws you trample over.

  • phronesis

    I hope the crew stay together and keep working. A series on life in a Lebanese prison would be much better watching than most of what’s on TV.

  • WBC

    “It’s not an easy conversation to have with a five- or seven-year-old
    who ask as they go to sleep each night when mummy or daddy is coming

    Especially when, if you’re going to be honest, you have to tell them that Mommy is a Kidnapper who was committing a crime in another country all to make an entertainment program at the expense of pretty much everybody involved.

    Because Mummy is a very bad person.

  • BG

    Shapelle Corby II?