Tara Brown said 60 Minutes team are being treated well in Lebanon

Tara Brown says her reporting team is being treated well in Lebanon.
Tara Brown says her reporting team is being treated well in Lebanon.

High-profile 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown has spoken from her Lebanese jail cell, telling News Corp Australia she is being treated well by authorities.

"Quite genuinely we are being treated well by the standards here, it's fine, it's not crowded," she said from inside the barred cells below the court complex in Beirut.

While keeping her comments brief so as not to jeopardise the case, she said the team had a local lawyer and had been visited by friends, but was unclear on what would happen next.

"It really is quite hard to gauge at the moment what is happening so we are going through a process, we'll see," she said.

Ms Brown, along with producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment are being held along with two Britons - one of whom said he was "very sick" in court on Wednesday.

The 60 Minutes team face charges of kidnapping, hiding information, assault and forming an association to commit a crime. The case has been adjourned until Monday after the faced questioning by the judge in an investigative stage that has no equivalent in Australian law, according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Channel Nine News and Current Affairs Director Darren Wick appeared in court to support his team. Judge Rami Abdullah has ordered the Australian mother Sally Faulkner and her estranged husband Ali Elamin to reach an agreement over the children, however it is up to Mr Elamin whether he wants to drop the charges, Ms Faulkner's lawyer said.

Australian authorities have been in contact with their Lebanese counterparts but have made it clear they will not intervene in the case. The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Wednesday saying it did not want the incident to affect the relationship between the two countries.

Sally Faulkner has been detained in Lebanon after attempting to retrieve her children - Lahela, 5, and Noah, 2 - from her ex-husband. Photo / Facebook
Sally Faulkner has been detained in Lebanon after attempting to retrieve her children - Lahela, 5, and Noah, 2 - from her ex-husband. Photo / Facebook

In Beirut, locals and security forces have expressed shock a group would attempt kidnapping in one of the busiest and most secure streets of an area which is a stronghold of local Islamist group Hezbollah.

News Corp Australia reporters were questioned for 90 minutes in the district while reporting from the strip that is filled with CCTV, military checkpoints, heavily-armed patrols and uniformed agents.

A local security expert said they were surprised Child Abduction Recovery International would attempt such a stunt in the area that had been a target of Israeli missiles during a 2006 conflict.

"This group is supposed to be professional group but no-one would try to do this in this place of all places," they said.

The manager of a retail store near where CCTV footage of he attempt was captured said they had seen footage of the incident online which had left them mystified.

"We were closed, most of the shops were closed at 7.30am but we have seen it yes on the internet. This is a very secure place so it is strange."

- news.com.au

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