Australian mom, TV crew accused of kidnapping released from Lebanon jail

Australian mother Sally Faulkner and Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes crew–who were accused of kidnapping two children in a custody dispute–have been released from prison on bail.

Channel Nine confirmed the news, saying that the group was on their way to leave Lebanon, on Wednesday night.

Faulkner, a mother from Brisbane, Australia, and the crew were charged with the alleged kidnapping of Lebanese-Australian her son and daughter (aged 3 and 5) from a street in Beirut.

The children’s father Ali al-Amin, the children’s father, has dropped the attempted kidnapping charges against Faulkner and the crew, explaining that he “didn’t want the kids to think I was keeping their mother in jail.”

According to reports, Faulkner and TV crew composed of Tara Brown, Benjamin Williamson, David Ballment, and Stephen Rice. The BBC reported that they were charged with the following: kidnapping, physical assault, hiding information and criminal conspiracy.

Reports say that the crew allegedly filmed while the children were being seized.

The BBC also reported Faulkner as saying that her husband moved the two children to Lebanon from Australia without her permission. This was denied by al-Amin.

“She will accept that the children will stay with their father,” said attorney, Ghassan Moughabhab.”Taking into consideration the Lebanese law, he’s in the right.”

Al-Amin also said that he will be raising the two kids in Lebanon, and would allow Faulkner to visit. “There’s still a bit of tension but at the end of the day, we have to come to some sort of balanced relation between her and I,” he added.

Each detainee paid 1 million Lebanese pounds, or $662.

Judge Rami Abdullah pointed out that the group is still facing public charges, and the state will need to review whether these will be dropped.¬†“There is a crime that happened, and everyone has a role in the affair,” he explained.