60 Minutes crew, Brisbane mother free after jail release in Beirut

UPDATE! 2:20am April 21, 2016 The 60 Minutes crew arrested in Beirut are set to leave Lebanon and return to Australia. They


2:20am April 21, 2016

The 60 Minutes crew arrested in Beirut are set to leave Lebanon and return to Australia. They have been released from custody, along with Brisbane mum, Sally Faulkner.

Benjamin Williamson, David Ballment and Stephen Rice of 60 Minutes were the first to walk free according to Channel 9 reporter Tom Steinfort.

He says the men have “smiles as wide as the Harbour Bridge”.

They left in a van and went to the women’s prison where Tara Brown and Faulkner were being held.

Faulkner’s estranged husband Ali Elamine dropped the charges against them and told the judge he believed the team was “just doing their job”.

8:30pm April 20, 2016

Charges against the 60 Minutes crew and Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner, detained in Lebanon on child kidnapping charges, are set to be dropped.

The Australians could be released from custody within hours.

This follows earlier reports of a breakthrough have emerged in the child abduction saga involving a Brisbane mother, Sally Faulkner, and a 60 Minutes television crew including journalist Tara Brown.

5:45pm April 20, 2016

According to Sally Faulkner’s lawyer, Ghassan Moghabghab, an agreement has been negotiated between Faulkner and her estranged Labenese husband, Ali Elamine, the father of the two children.

It is claimed that Faulkner will give up custody of the two children in exchange for her release.

However, this deal is what the judge has been waiting for before deciding on the kidnapping charges.

Faulkner’s lawyer says the deal should be enough for the charges to be dropped, but the matter won’t be finalised until the agreement is signed before the judge.

This is a breaking news story. Starts at 60 will update as news comes to hand.

Is this good news? Have your say.


  1. It is good news even though they should have never tried to take the children out of the country. It has been done before but her husband is too well connected. However one day the children will get older and want to see their mother. It is heartbreaking for her as she has carried those children and as a mother it will be very painful.

  2. Kym  

    No way in hell would I give up my kids, and I wouldn’t want to leave them in a country like Lebanon, what is she thinking!!!!

  3. It is basically the reverse of Australian rules where the woman has all rights to the children . In Lebanon the man has all rights . But the father of these children has a 100% American accent , even though probably Lebanese born , and he is just using Lebanon as a refuge , knowing they will respect his rights there . I respect the children’s mother Sally in giving up custody of her children to allow her and the 60 minutes crew’s release from custody . It is so sad that Sally will have no rights to probably ever share custody or visitation rights with her children . Obviously Channel 9 will pay her lots of money for the return of their crew in this bungled kidnap attempt , but nothing will ever replace her rights to be part of her children’s growing up and their future .

    • Faye Dapiran  

      I wondered about his American accent, but he has been living here or in Lebanon for years. He has said she can visit them, but that will be difficult for her, unless she stays there, and of course she has another child back here, and a partner. Not really a great result, but the best that could e hoped for after this tragic and shocking event.

  4. Dianne Evans  

    Pleased they are too be free but sad for the children and the mum.

  5. MIa Van Der Stam  

    So glad they are free for now, but I read that they can be called back to stand trial if it is required. Why then can the father get away with kidnapping, because he broke Australian law. Therefore he should be called back to Australia to stand trial for kidnapping. In middle eastern countries men are everything- so anyone living in Australia married to a middle eastern man- BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL.

  6. Greg Smout  

    Children are Kidnapped from their fathers under bogus domestic violence orders every other day in Australia. Then harassed by CSA and lawyers to squeeze them for as much cash as possible. In this case the mother is the loser. In all cases nobody wins in a child kidnapping …. And the children suffer the most …

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