It is expected that the truth behind the 60 Minutes abduction and botched child recovery matter will be revealed soon as the key man behind the incident, Adam Whittington, has been released from Lebanese jail.
Among all the members who were involved in the botched child recovery operation, only Whittington remained in prison while others were released gradually. Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes showed the whole event as a recovery mission for kids who were taken away from an Aussie mother, Sally Faulkner, by her ex-husband and their father Ali Elamine. The event, however, was the opposite. It was the mother who tried to snatch the kids from the father, and the media allegedly knew about her plans.
Reporter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment were arrested on April 7, along with Faulkner and Whittington. The latter was charged with kidnapping while the former faced serious charges but granted bail. Whereas the 60 Minutes crew and Faulker returned to Australia on April 22, Whittington had to spend more than three months in custody.
Whittington will return to Australia in August after visiting his uncle in Sweden following all health checks.
Faulkner claimed that her ex-husband did not return their children, four-year-old Noah and six-year-old Lahela, as promised after taking them to Lebanon for a holiday in 2015.
Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew were granted bail as Channel Nine applied to bargain and make sure its staff members are released. The media outlet paid for the operation, following which the charges against the crew members were lowered while Faulkner made a deal with her ex-husband and asked for bail in lieu of their children’s custody.
On the other hand, according to 9News, Whittington and three others involved in the rescue operation were denied bail in May.