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Lebanon to Determine ‘Soon’ on Fate of Australian Film Crew | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The grandmother of the kidnapped Elamine family children carries a picture of one of her grandchildren in the family home in Beirut

Lebanon-The Lebanese authorities shall be deciding anytime soon on the fate of the Australian film crew “suspected” to have planned a kidnap operation. The final decision is expected to be issued on whether the four-members of the crew will face charges in connection with the plot to kidnap the two children in a child-custody dispute, said Australia’s foreign minister on Saturday.

Only few days ago, the four Australians were detained by the Lebanese police and were accused of involvement in the kidnapping of the two children from their Lebanese father on behalf of their Australian mother. Foreign minister Julie Bishop stated that at the current stage it is understandable that the members are still being held in detention and the question of charges is an issue that will be determined shortly.

Bishop added; “I cannot understate the seriousness with which the Lebanese authorities are viewing the case but we’re doing all we can to maintain contact with all of the parties involved.” Noting that the crew members were making a film about the mother’s efforts to recover her children for the Australian current affairs show “60 Minutes”.

Moreover, the Australian mother was also in detention in Lebanon, media has reported.

Lebanese Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk was quoted on Thursday as saying the crew were “involved in abducting the two children and detained in respect of their participation in the kidnapping operation”. “Given the sensitivities of this case and the fact children are involved, we are handling this very carefully,” Bishop said.

The grandmother of the children stated infront of media that she had been hit on the head with a pistol during the abduction. While CCTV footage broadcast on Lebanese TV had appeared to show the two children, who the father said were aged five and three, being bundled into a car by several attackers on a busy street in southern Beirut.

Lebanese media reported on Friday that Brisbane woman Sally Faulkner had been detained and her children returned to their father.