JUDGE: No way charges will be dropped Brown and Co broke law
POLITICAL intervention had been touted as offering a solution whereby Tara Brown, her 60 Minutes crew and the Brisbane mother whose children they were trying to "rescue" could be released.
However, the latest quotes from the judge overseeing the case have cast a dim cloud over such hopes.
It's being reported that Judge Rami Abdullah said: "There is no way the charges will be dropped, there is a violation of Lebanese law by these people."
The case has now been held over until Monday meaning the group of five Australians will face another four days in Lebanese jail.
Judge Rami Abdullah: 'There is no way the charges will be dropped, there is a violation of the Lebanese law by these people.' #60mins— Hugh Whitfeld (@hughwhitfeld) April 13, 2016
Earlier it was reported that Lebanon's Foreign Minister gave instructions for the custody battle between Sally Faulkner and her husband Ali Elamine to be resolved.
Seven News' Europe Bureau Chief, Hugh Whitfield has tweeted a statement he reports as being from the Lebanese Foreign Ministry which said the Minister had instructed that the custody battle should be resolved in order to avoid a diplomatic incident.
A translation of the statement reportedly pointed to political intervention.
"Foreign Affair Minister gave instructions to form a joint Australia-Lebanese committee to resolve the custody case," the statement read.
"Minister doesn't want this to affect Lebanon-Australia relations.
"Australia should respect Lebanese law and vice-versa."
The 60 Minutes crew has been detained on child snatching charges and is presently in a behind-closed-doors meeting with a Lebanese judge.
The lawyer acting on behalf of Tara Brown, her team and the mother of the children at the centre of the case has reportedly told assorted media at the courthouse that: "We are finding a solution that will resolve all of the problems.
Faulkner's lawyer says the judge is pushing for Sally and Ali to come to agreement regarding kids. That should help #60mins crew.— Hugh Whitfeld (@hughwhitfeld) April 13, 2016
"The solution is an agreement between her and her husband. It will not be a private agreement but one the court will accept."
Earlier it was reported Ms Brown and the mother of the children the crew are accused of abducting - Brisbane woman Sally Faulkner - were taken, handcuffed, into the judge's chambers.
60 Minutes crew in Lebanon formally charged with the following pic.twitter.com/3oed5vdRoX— Tom Steinfort (@tomsteinfort) April 12, 2016
Nine news reporter Tom Steinfort is on the scene and has said the charges will be strenuously denied.
The accused were interviewed earlier today by the judge.
The 60 minutes crew charged with kidnapping in Beirut will face court again today in a hope charges are downgraded. https://t.co/hdtMqEM8FH— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) April 13, 2016
Several outlets are reporting there are hopes the charges will be downgraded to a misdemeanour of taking the children away from their guardian.
More to follow.