Ray Martin shows support for 60 Minutes crew and Sally Faulkner speaks out 15



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He’s one of the most recognisable faces in Australia media today and for good reason: Ray Martin is a seasoned and respected journalist. But there’s a shadow in his past that has been played out again 30 years on: child abduction and the dramas that come with it.

In an interview on Brisbane radio, Ray Martin defended the ethics of the 60 Minutes crew, while recounting his own experience in filming a child recovery for the program in the 1980s. 30 years ago, Martin travelled to Spain with a woman whose 20-month-old son had been taken there by her estranged husband.

At the time, Martin and his camera crew risked imprisonment to capture the rescue on film before fleeing the country. He said he knew full well about the consequences.

“I was aware of that and that’s one of the risks you’d take,” he said, reports News Corp.

“Ethically, as a journalist, I thought we were doing the right thing, because the courts had judged the case and decided that the mother had custody of the children, and the father had broken Australian laws and taken the children away.”

Martin said he believed pursuing the story it was “the decent thing to do” to help the mother.

“I guess if you’re in the situation of the mother or the family and a child is taken, never to be seen again, that is a huge story that I would find a valid story for a journalist to do.”

The difference with Martin’s story for 60 Minutes is that no payment was made by Channel 9 to the private investigator involved in the incident.

“We certainly didn’t pay any money to them,” Martin said.

“I’m very conscious of what’s happening in Lebanon and they’re friends and colleagues of mine, so I would say nothing about that that might affect the case, but it’s obviously, it’s very serious”.

He wouldn’t comment on whether Channel 9 did in fact pay the child recovery agency, said he has no idea but “I know the crew are highly ethical, and I can’t believe they would do something that’s unethical”.

When asked why a child recovery story was worth risking jail for, Martin said it was about “attempting to right a wrong”.

“As journalists we do stories that we think are right, and are ethical,” he said.

“If you don’t take risks in war zones and other areas then you don’t do your job as a journalist … No one’s being marched into these areas, but I suspect that the four people involved, who are highly professional and experienced, thought that it was a valid story and it was an ethical story”.

Also this morning, the mother Sally Faulkner was interviewed by The Australian from her prison cell in Lebanon.

“Please tell my mum and dad how well I am and also Brendan and my in-laws,’’ she said. “I am fine but my loved ones need to know that.’’

Ms Faulkner said she had specifically told them not to come over to Lebanon to visit her as “they had priorities and commitments back home’’, reports The Australian.

Ms Faulkner also didn’t want to talk about her children Lahela and Noah except to stress to their correct ages: five and three. Her other child, a three month-old baby, is with new husband Brendan.

‘’I would leave Beirut in a heartbeat, but events have to follow their course,’’she said.

She gave no sign as to whether custody negotiations with her ex-husband Ali Elamine had progressed.

Ms Faulkner said she had been receiving some “really lovely messages’’ of support from Australians.

“Please tell them that I am getting the messages and they have been really lovely and boosting our spirits,’’ she said.

At this stage, the judge wants further investigation about who signed off on the kidnapping plot and who paid for the operation, with a hearing to follow on Monday.

Tell us, what are your thoughts on Ray Martin’s involvement in the 80s? Is it ever right to get involved? And do you think Sally Faulkner should be given sole custody?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. Maybe the so called ethical reporters if any are left…few and far between…looked into how they paid for the story. .mmm

  2. Who cares who paid who it is the children that should be with their Mother. I have empathy for this lady when my husband tried to take my children from me to live in the UK which would have only happened over my dead body. As for me being a rotten Mother both my sons have told me they are privileged to have me as their Mother.

  3. As much as I respect Ray Martin In my opinion he is massaging this story to support his beloved ch.9.The point is to me that ch.9 appears to have been involved in or complicit in acts of criminality in a sovereighn Country which has left the Mother at the centre of this ,to put it bluntly,up the creek with a hole in her boat and with no paddles.I also am of the opinion that Ch 9 have done this ,not out of an act of altatrruism, but out of ratings greed.What ch.9 is now doing is to try to rescue itself from a PR disaster.

    2 REPLY
    • Didn’t the father do wrong in the first place? Didn’t the mother have custody and the father took them on holiday and didn’t return them to her? I think channel 9 were trying to help, but unfortunately things didn’t go the way they were planned. God Bless them all and I hope they all return safely to their families very soon.

    • What you are forgetting is that the father is the criminal for taking them in the first place. He got away with taking them now they should get away with trying to get them back.

  4. Totally support the mother & Ray Martin getting involved! The father has broken all laws by taking the children as he said “for a holiday” & not allowing them to return to Australia. Hoping for a good outcome for all involved….😊

  5. What you dont understand is the fact the mother had full custody of her children – the husband took them to a country where he knew full well she would never get them back unless using the method tried. I feel for everyone in the story especially for the children who should be raised by their mother.
    Channel 9 I am so pleased that you tried to help this woman regain her children. My children could have been taken like this to the UK but I put an order on all ports whenever he came to visit the children. Nobody can replace a mother’s love and bond with her children.
    I pray that all involved get treated with compassion and everyone comes home safe and well. May God shine his light upon you.

  6. I think someone has to help the woman. The man who “stole the children” walks out of court laughing! What a disgrace! What sort of man or woman takes their children away from the other parent like that. I pray for the team over there and the mother that justice will be served.

    1 REPLY
  7. In the pursuit of sensational journalism two children have been traumatised and a loving Mother has had her hopes raised and dashed. No sympathy for Channel 9 presenters.

  8. Go tell that to the families of the channel nine crews.Remember Peter Groeste ! reporter that remained in an a Egyptian jail.The only people who will come out of this smiling are the perants, money money money

    1 REPLY
    • Channel 9 were there willingly – they paid for a “scoop” – Peter Grestner was just doing his every day job – no comparison. It’s time this type of journalism was outlawed – it’s tacky and an insult to credible journo’s.

  9. I had little respect for him in the first, now I have even less.

  10. Exactly she took the children from him in the first place and allowed him 10 min sykpe how generous of her it is not an automatic right that children are best off with their mothers and yes sadly two children are left in this mess .I have no sympathy for Sally Fawkner she is a disgrace and she should be required to foot the costs.I cannot beleive her arrogance

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