Lebanon Charges Against Australia TV Crew, Mother to Be Dropped

Police escort Australian Sally Faulkner, the mother of the Amin children, and Australian reporter Tara Brown, to Lebanon's Baabda Prison for women, after their trial was adjourned, Lebanon April 18. Lebanon’s New TV reported on April 20 that the crew was to be released after an out-of-court settlement was reached. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

SYDNEY, April 20 – An Australian woman and television crew charged in Beirut with kidnapping following a custody dispute could be released on Wednesday, Australia’s Channel Nine network reported.

“Charges against 60 Minutes crew and Brisbane mother in Lebanon set to be dropped,” the network said on its website.

The Australians could be released from custody within a matter of hours, according to the network.

New TV reported that the crew was to be released after an out-of-court settlement was reached.

The Australian “60 Minutes” television crew and the woman, a mother of two children, were charged with kidnapping on April 14.

Lebanese authorities said they had prevented the woman and the crew from taking the woman’s two children back to Australia.

CCTV footage broadcast on Lebanese television appeared to show several people grabbing the children, who the father said were aged five and three, from their grandmother and bundling them into a car.

Australia’s Channel Nine television network has said its crew was not connected to the people who grabbed the children, Australian media reported.

The mother was subsequently arrested and the children were returned to their father.

Lebanon, unlike Australia, is not a signatory of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which allows for children normally resident in one location to be returned if taken by a relative.

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