Kidnapping or child recovery? Everyone has an opinion on the infamous 60 Minutes case. But while Sally Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew made their journey back to Australia, the debate shifted to the reportedly six-figure deal done by Channel 9 to secure their freedom.
According to Sunrise host David Koch, that payment might be a “bribe”.
In an interview with Treasurer Scott Morrison this morning, the Channel 7 personality questioned whether the deal ought to be investigated by corporate watchdog the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
“If a bribe was paid, should ASIC be investigating Channel Nine?” he asked.
“You are making a lot of assumptions, I am not going to do that this morning,” Morrison responded. “I think what we are pleased about is Miss Faulkner is coming home as are other Australians coming home.”
Koch pressed the treasurer on the issue, but Mr Morrison refused to “respond to hypotheticals”.
“I am not going to try this case on morning television,” he said.
It's still unclear precisely how much the network paid and to whom, as Ms Faulkner's estranged husband said he has not seen "a dime" despite dropping all charges against her and the 60 Minutes crew.
Meanwhile, Channel 9 boss Hugh Marks acknowledged that the station should not have become involved in Ms Faulkner's child-recovery attempt, but denied that those involved had knowingly done anything illegal.
"At no stage did anyone from Nine or 60 Minutes intend to act in any way that made them susceptible to charges that they breached the law or to become part of the story that is Sally's story," he said in a statement. "But we did become part of the story and we shouldn't have."
The station is now launching an internal review into the case.