true crime

Sally Faulkner used money from 60 Minutes to pay the men who grabbed her children.

No matter which way you look at it, Sally Faulkner is living a nightmare. The Brisbane mother is detained in a squalid prison on the far side of the globe, where it seems that the only key to her freedom may be giving up custody of her children.

Faulkner, who is sharing a cell with Channel 9 reporter Tara Brown, spoke to The Australian from Baabha Women’s Jail and said that, despite everything, she is coping well.

“Please tell my mum and dad how well I am and also Brendan [Faulkner’s partner] and my in-laws,” she said. “I am fine but my loved ones need to know that.”

Faulkner, right, and her co-accused from 60 Minutes.

Faulkner and four crew from 60 Minutes were arrested and detained by Lebanese authorities last week following a failed attempt to snatch her children from a Beirut street.

Noah, three, and Lahela, five, have been living in the country with their father Ali el-Amien, despite a December Australian Family Court ruling that granted Faulkner sole custody of the children.

Desperate to bring the little ones home, Sally used money paid to her by Channel 9 to secure the services of Child Abduction Recovery International - an agency that rescues victims of parental abduction.

The dramatic operation saw Noah and Lehela grabbed from a busstop and bundled into a waiting car. The getaway was clean, but authorities soon caught up with them.

More on the night Faulkner spent re-uinted with her children here.

via Facebook.

With charges of kidnapping, physical assault, hiding information and criminal conspiracy levelled against them, the co-accused could be staring down the barrel of two decades behind bars.


It seems that their last great hope is that Ali el-Amien will drop the charges. According to the ABC, this could mean bail for Faulkner and less severe charges for all involved.

But the sad fact is that little Noah and Lahela have become a bargaining chip - their mother has reportedly agreed to renounce custody and cooperate in procuring a divorce in exchange for her freedom.

Video by 7 News

Faulkner was unable to comment on the heartbreaking negotiation to The Australian, but the ABC reports that she is at least hoping for the right to see her children in Lebanon, Australia or a third country whenever she chooses.

"I would leave Beirut in a heartbeat," she told The Australian, "but events have to follow their course."

Faulkner will face court for the third time on Monday.