With Sally Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew now safely released from their Beirut prisons, Ali el-Amine has spoken to Australian media outlets to share his side of the story.
Speaking with KIIS FM‘s Kyle & Jackie O from Beirut this morning, el-Amine spent 15 minutes painting a tale that differs significantly from what has previously been reported, breaking down the pivotal moments that ultimately lead to his ex-partner’s “rescue” attempt.
Ali Elamin appears outside court earlier this week. Source: Getty.
According to el-Amine, who has told his children nothing of what has happened over the past 15 days, he traveled to Beirut with the couple's two young children, Lahela and Noah last May, planning to spend only the summer there. It was only after stories about Faulkner's new partner emerged that el-Amine decided to stay permanently, he says.
"Lahela kept on telling me that mummy's friend would sleep in the same bed, and mummy's friend was always around, and I just wasn't okay with that."
"So, they're better off with me, you thought? Sandilands asked el-Amine.
"Yeah," he responded.
Faulkner and el-Amine's children Noah and Lahela.
With Faulkner's email account on a shared family iPad, el-Amine says that he was able to see what Faulkner was planning and tried to stop the plan before it went ahead. "I could see she was trying to orchestrate like, a kidnapping," he said sadly.
"I told her, please stop whatever you're doing because you're jeopardising our safety," el-Amine said, continuing, "she was kind of trying to pinpoint our every move every time she Skyped the kids, and that's when I said we can't communicate with you, it's not to our favour."
But, as the world now knows, Faulkner continued with her plans, and along with Brown, Stephen Rice, Ben Williamson, David Ballment and the Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI) team, was arrested, eventually spending 15 days in prison.
Images of Tara Brown and Sally Faulkner moments after being freed. Source: Channel 9 News.
"She obviously figured the only way to get them was to kidnap them," el-Amine said, later adding that Faulkner would have the opportunity to see the children before returning to Australia, planning to reunite the family over a lunch and "pretend it's a normal, regular day."
el-Amine told the radio hosts his reason for keeping the children from Faulkner since her arrest was simple. "I don't want the kids to see their mum in handcuffs or in a jail cell," he said.
Sally Faulkner. Source: Channel 9 News.
But there's one group that el-Amine kindness is not extending to, and that's the CARI crew, who are still in jail with charges against them still standing.
"My mum received a concussion and has internal bleeding in her head from three different hits," Elamin said angrily. "She's a 70 year old lady who got chucked around like she was a bag of chips."
CCTV footage showing the failed recovering, with Elamin's elderly mother being pushed over. Post continues after the video...
Finally, Sandilands and O moved to the question that's been leading the news this morning: money, and how much of it el-Amine has received since dropping the charges.
"Ali, did you get paid anything?" Jackie O asked.
"Negative," el-Amine responded.
"Everyone keeps on saying I got compensated, and I'm really hoping I get something, but my main deal with Sally dropping the personal charges was for the custody side of things. It wasn't for Channel 9, I couldn't care less for them, it was all about the custody of the kids."
I told them from the start... money's not an issue for us, all I care about is the kids."
It is believed that the 60 Minutes crew are now on a flight home, with Faulkner set to return to Australia later this week.