60 MINUTES: A mother's grief as fresh charges emerge
BRISBANE mother Sally Faulkner has been charged over the botched attempt to kidnap her children and bring them to Australia and while she is unlikely to return to Lebanon and face court the decision appears to have added to the strain of being separated from her kids.
Fairfax media broke the news of the charges earlier today, reporting that ex-soldier Adam Whittington had also been charged.
Whittington's lawyer Joe Karam told Fairfax the judge had dropped a more serious charge relating to criminal gangs.
However Whittington and his accomplice Craig Michael along with a Lebanese fixer who helped carry out the operation have all been formally indicted over a kidnapping charge.
A second Lebanese fixer has been charged with assault.
The move to charge Ms Faulkner has surprised many as the Lebanese courts had earlier indicated they held the legal opinion it was not possible for a mother to kidnap her own children.
Yesterday Ms Faulkner took to Instagram to criticise her ex-husband Ali Elamine as a selfish parent.
"For those lies that Ali told - she took their passports and ripped them up.. She kept me from the kids. She lied.. She was a bad mother," she posted.
"This is a photo of one of Ali's visits where we took the kids to the monster trucks.
"Ali is holding him up and I took the photo. We were able to co-parent because I made sure it was possible..
"And you go and do what you have done. This is why I don't believe you are the only one behind this..
In another post she wrote about how good a parent she was.
In another social media post the estranged mother spoke about how things had once been good with her ex-husband.
As part of the deal to secure freedom it has been reported Ms Faulkner agreed to forego any claim to her children.
It has also been reported Channel Nine paid Mr Elamine as much as $500,000 to drop charges - a claim he later denied on Kyle and Jacqui O Show despite News Corp publishing documents which appeared to confirm the payments.
University of Melbourne media ethics expert Denis Muller said the Channel Nine crew were lucky because if the offence had happened in Australia, they could have faced more serious charges.
But he said it was bad news for Channel Nine's reputation.
Dr Muller also hoped media would learn from this incident."What justifies you involving yourself in a crime to get a story?" he questioned.
"Because that's effectively what they did."