The scheduled court hearing for the 60 Minutes botched kids recovery mission on Monday has been postponed, extending Nine Network’s crew members as well as accused mother Sally Faulkner’s stay to two more nights behind bars.
It was the first time that reporter Tara Brown and Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner were seen in public since their arrest almost two weeks ago. Beirut police took the alleged pair into the Baabda Palace of Justice where a judge said the hearing would be postponed until Wednesday. Brown and Faulkner, along with 60 Minutes producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment, were due to be presented in court on Monday but the judge moved the hearing date forward to Wednesday to decide on their fate.
Judge Rami Abdullah told reporters that the hearing on the 60 Minutes abduction would be adjourned on Wednesday. She also reiterated how serious the entire matter was. “This is not a custody case,” Judge Abdullah said as quoted by news.com.au. “They are charged with kidnapping two kids.”
Faulkner, along with the media crew members, have been found accountable to several count charges, including physical assault, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, and hiding information.
Lebanese authorities detained the media crew members on April 7 for the failed attempts to recover Faulkner’s children. Faulkner, the mother of the two kids, claimed her ex-husband have brought her children to Lebanon for a short vacation but never let them return to Australia. On the other hand, the father accused the mother of snatching the kids from their grandmother while they waited for their school bus in Beirut. He also held the 60 Minutes crew members responsible as accomplices to the crime.
Abdullah asked the father of the kids, Ali Elamine, to withdraw the case and settle the matter. This decision followed the court’s consideration of the case as a mother’s effort to get back her children and not as kidnapping. Even Faulkner agreed to return his children forever if he would take back the case. But on Monday, the father confirmed he will take the case forward against all the suspects, according to the 9News report.