Lebanon authorities charge 60 Minutes crew

Four members of a 60 Minutes team allegedly involved in a bungled child-snatch attempt have been charged by Lebanese authorities.

Four files of charges, including at least one related to kidnapping, have been filed against reporter Tara Brown and three other crew members on Tuesday, the Nine Network reported.

It's not clear if Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner is also facing charges over the alleged attempted kidnapping of her children, four-year-old Noah and six-year-old Lahela, from her ex-husband Ali el-Amien.

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Mum, TV crew questioned in 60 Minutes case

The four-member TV crew and Ms Faulkner were among nine people arrested in Beirut last Thursday.

The charged crew members are expected to appear before a judge in Beirut later on Tuesday.

They will reportedly be asked if they would like legal representation before being returned to detention before formal questioning in the coming days.

60 Minutes Australia Producer Stephen Rice. Photo / Supplied
60 Minutes Australia Producer Stephen Rice. Photo / Supplied

Mount Lebanon's general prosecutor, judge Claude Karam, quizzed seven suspects including the Australians in relation to the case on Monday, Beirut's Daily Star newspaper reported, quoting a judicial source.

Two Britons and two Lebanese from a child recovery team were also among those arrested.

Two have been released but their identities are unknown. Nine has hired a legal team in Beirut to help secure the release of the TV crew.

Australian diplomats in Lebanon and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials in Canberra have been supporting the detained Australians.

Ben Williamson Cinematographer at 60 Minutes. Picture supplied via LinkedIn
Ben Williamson Cinematographer at 60 Minutes. Picture supplied via LinkedIn

The TV crew were in Beirut to film and interview Ms Faulkner, who wanted to be reunited with her children, who she claims were taken to Lebanon by her ex-husband without her permission.

CCTV footage aired in local media and on Nine appeared to show Noah and Lahela being snatched from their paternal grandmother on a busy Beirut street by a group of masked men and bundled into a car.

David Ballment sound recordist for 60 Minutes Australia. Photo: David Tangles Ballment/Facebook
David Ballment sound recordist for 60 Minutes Australia. Photo: David Tangles Ballment/Facebook

The children were handed over to Ms Faulkner but the agents and a film crew from 60 Minutes, including reporter Tara Brown, were arrested a short time later.

Authorities found Ms Faulkner and the children shortly after, arresting the Brisbane mum and returning the children to their father.

- AAP

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