The Australian mother detained alongside a 60 Minutes TV crew in Lebanon after a failed child snatch attempt has a three-month old baby in Brisbane, it has been discovered.
Sally Faulkner left the baby she had earlier this year with her new husband, Brendan Pierce, so she could travel to Lebanon to recover her two children from a previous marriage.
She has claimed her children, Lahela, 6, and Noah, 4, were being kept illegally in Lebanon by her former husband, Ali el-Amine.
Mr el-Amine denies the claims and said Ms Faulkner had previously agreed to the children going to Lebanon. Lebanese media claim Ms Faulkner began protesting the arrangement when her maintenance payments were halted.
Sally Faulkner with her children Lahela and Noah. (Image via Facebook.)
An announcement by Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, concerning the case revealed her department were trying to determine the “alleged involvement” of the TV crew.
"We are providing as much support as we can, meeting with officials within the Lebanese government and doing what we can to ascertain what is proposed, in relation to the crew and the alleged involvement of the crew in this case," Ms Bishop said on Saturday.
Bishop also highlighted the delicate nature of the situation, "There is a compassionate element to this case, because of course it involves children."
Based upon Lebanese law, Fathers are given preference to the care of the children at a certain age. (Image via Facebook.)
The botched child recovery attempt saw the children snatched from their paternal grandmother at a Beirut bus stop. They managed to be returned to their mother, but then all parties involved were arrested within 24 hours of the operation.
60 Minutes accompanied Ms Faulkner to Lebanon to document the attempted recovery using a controversial child recovery agency. Four men who represent the agency and were involved in the recovery attempt have also been detained.
Lebanese authorities claim they now have a signed statement from a member of the ‘recovery team’ who says Channel Nine paid $115, 000 for the operation.
Neither 60 minutes nor Channel Nine are yet to comment, but it has been reported that the crew have denied the claims against them, despite there being ‘uncorroborated’ evidence against the crew. The 60 Minutes team remain in custody.
It is being claimed by Lebanese media this CCTV footage captures the moment the children were taken from their Grandmother. Post continues after video.