Lebanese authorities have detained the 60 Minutes crew after their failed attempt to help Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner get her kids back from their father forcefully.
The 60 Minutes crew members are reporter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Benjamin Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment. They have been imprisoned along with the mother as well as two Britons who also contributed to the recovery mission. According to an insider, working for Nine Network and being in a crew of a program like 60 Minutes is a dream for Australians, but it comes with a handful of risks that might endanger a media personnel’s life as in this case of involvement in the alleged abduction of two kids, 4-year-old Noah and 6-year-old Lahela.
Following the incident, one question that is revolving around is what made the reputed network send its star reporter and producer for such a risky coverage. Lebanese police have charged the crew members with several allegations, including criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, and physical abuse, which could prompt them to spend 20 long years in jail. The crew members are awaiting their next court appearance scheduled on Monday.
News.com.au reported an insider as saying that it was not the first time a 60 Minutes crew has chased a risky operation but there has been no serious issue raised in this connection so far. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that veteran Australian reporter Ray Martin as defending the crew for opting to go for such a task. He said that he went for a similar assignment in Spain in 1980 to cover child recovery for the same TV program.
According to the report of The Australian, the heads have started working to find out the names of people who are guilty of undertaking such operations. “Insiders said a group of current and former executive and producers were coming under increasing scrutiny over a botched child-abduction attempt,” the newspaper reported.