This is what the people of Lebanon are thinking about the 60 Minutes abduction case.

A foreign correspondent offered Australian audiences local insight into the fate of the Sixty Minutes crew on Thursday night’s episode of The Project.

The Guardian’s Middle-East reporter Kareem Shaheem said while the people of Lebanon had reacted positively to the mother’s story, the news crew faced an uphill battle.

“There’s very little sympathy for the TV crew.” Shaheem said.

Shaheem explains the reaction as being partly due to what the media company’s actions symbolise to the Lebanese people.

“It gives the impression that foreigners can  simply come into the country and carry out a transnational kidnapping without facing punishment would be an embarrassment to the authorities and an embarrassment to the judiciary.” He said.

Source: Screenshot/Channel 10.

Shaheem said it could be a matter of months before it is known whether the matter will be referred to trial.

"We're looking at a good couple of months before we even know if there are going to be trial proceedings." He said.

This comes after all members of the crew and Faulkner were brought before a judge this week.


Mother Sally Faulkner may face a lighter fate if she can reach an agreement with estranged husband Ali Elamine.

Shaheem also said that in his interview with Elamine, he was given the impression Elamine did not want to press charges against Faulkner.

Father Ali Elamine and Sally Faulkner. Source: Screenshot/Channel 10.

The Project reported the judge wanted Elamine to drop all charges so Faulkner could be treated not as a kidnapper but as a mother in a custody dispute.

It has previously been reported that Faulkner would need to surrender full custody and accept a shared arrangement if she were to avoid jail time.

Family lawyer Dr Ann Wollner told The Project it seemed unfair to expect the mother to surrender custody.

"It seems to me to be an unfair situation where you're asked to compromise your rights with respect to your children." Dr Wollner said.

Local and international insights into the case may offer hope for Faulkner and the children but the fate of the news crew remains both precarious and unknown.

*** Featured Image: Screenshot via Channel 9/60 Minutes