Sally Faulkner with Noah, 3, or Lahela, 5.
Sally Faulkner with Noah, 3, or Lahela, 5.

60 Minutes kidnapping drama: Mum seeks deal

BRISBANE mother Sally Faulkner has asked her estranged husband to drop abduction charges against her in exchange for her renouncing all claims to custody and cooperating in getting a divorce.

Ms Faulkner and four members of a Channel Nine 60 Minutes crew, including high profile reporter Tara Brown,  were arrested after an attempt to take Ms Faulkner's two children off the streets of the capital, Beirut.

If the charges are dropped, Ms Faulkner will give up sole custody granted to her by the Family Court in Australia.

The ABC reported an Australian Family Court ruling, granted on December 15, allowed Australian police or agents appointed by Ms Faulkner to get her children back - but she did not register it in Lebanon.

Ms Faulkner's Lebanese lawyer Ghassan Moghabghab said: "It's a very strong judgement and we are sorry that it's not being used .

"Especially when you read the articles of the judgement, it was obviously 100 per cent to her favour."

The ABC has been told the Lebanese judge does not view the recovery as a kidnapping, but rather as a mother trying to reunite with her children.

Ms Faulkner hopes for the right to see her children whenever she wants in Lebanon, Australia or a third country.

Meanwhile, shock jock Alan Jones has blasted the 60 Minutes over the bungled 'child recovery" operation.

He said the Nine network had "become dysfunctional" in its handling of the situation.

Nine's involvement has come under question and criticism amid reports Nine paid $115,000 for the story which was used to pay for the recovery misson by mercenary group CARI.

Jones said everyone had sympathy for a mother who was desperate to get her children back.

But he said Nine had gone too far.

"It seems here the preference was for television ratings via vigilante justice.

"Channel 9 has gone too far and now families of Australians are paying the price."

But Nine and 60 Minutes veteran Ray Martin defended those involved in the story.

Martin himself was involved in a child recovery story in Spain in the 1980s.

Martin travelled to Spain with a Tasmanian woman whose 20-month-old son had been taken there by her estranged footballer husband.

Hiding inside a Barcelona cafe, Martin and his camera crew risked imprisonment to capture the rescue on film before fleeing the country.

Martin drove the getaway car.



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