A judge has reportedly recommended Australian woman Sally Faulkner should face kidnap charges over the botched child recovery operation designed to take back her two children from their Lebanese father.

The dual Australian-British national who planned the bungled Beirut operation, Adam Whittington, should also face kidnap charges, Judge Rami Abdullah reportedly recommended in a Lebanese court.

But the Nine Network journalists and crew involved in the case have avoided criminal charges but will face a court-imposed fine.

It is understood the charge of kidnapping attracts a maximum penalty of three years in prison.


Judge Abdullah decided not to proceed with charges of being associated with a criminal gang.

Ms Faulkner's lawyer Ghassan Moughabghab told AAP he would not comment on the judge's decision until he had seen the charges but earlier this week said there was little chance that Ms Faulkner would be sent back to prison if there is a trial.

"That is the only bit of good news in this situation," he said. Judge Abdullah conducted a three-month long investigation into the actions of 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, her crew, Ms Faulkner and Whittington's child recovery team.

Faulkner, Brown, producer Stephen Rice, sound recordist David Ballment and cameraman Ben Williamson were arrested in Beirut on April 6, along with Whittington, his colleague Craig Michaels and Lebanese men, Khaled Barbour and Mohammed Hamza.

They were taken into custody after Whittington's team snatched Ms Faulkner's children, Lahela, 5 and Noah, 3 from a busy suburban street, injuring their Lebanese grandmother.

Ms Faulkner says she took the action after her estranged husband took the children on a two-week holiday in May last year and did not return them to Australia as promised.

After spending almost two weeks in prison, Faulkner and the 60 Minutes team were released when the children's father, Ali Elamine, agreed to drop personal charges of kidnap against them in return for a significant payout, reportedly up to A$500,000 ($522,000), from Nine.

Faulkner agreed to give up custody of her children to obtain her freedom.

Documents provided to the Lebanese court show the network had already paid A$115,000 to Whittington for the recovery of the two children.

Despite their continuing protests, Whittington, Michael, Hamza and Barbour were left out of the deal between Channel 9 and Elamine and remain in Aley Prison on the outskirts of Beirut.