The 60 Minutes crew, including host Tara Brown, and Australian mother Sally Faulkner have been freed from a Beirut prison on bail.
The release came as the Nine Network struck a deal Faulkner’s ex-husband Ali Elamine to have the charges against them dropped.
There are reports that the network paid an undisclosed sum to Elamine as part of that deal. He has denied receiving any payment.
“Money is not an issue all I care about is kids. The only thing I requested is not to use the footage (kidnap) and keep the kids out of this, they’re only hurting the kids,” he told radio hosts Kylie and Jackie O this morning.
The charges against the crew from Lebanese authorities remain with judge Rami Abdullah to further investigate whether they should be upheld.
Should he decide that the crew is still breach of any laws, the Australians may be summoned back to the country or the trial could proceed in their absence.
The charges against Faulkner were also dropped by Elamine in exchange for a divorce and custody of the children. As part of the agreement she will be able to visit her two children in a third country or Lebanon, but not in Australia.
Brown and the crew immediately flew out of Lebanon following their release.
Their flight is believed to have landed in Dubai this morning and they are expected back in Sydney late tonight.
— Channel 9 (@Channel9) April 20, 2016
Faulkner will remain in Beirut to meet with Elamine, their children and the judge today.
The child abduction recovery experts used in the botched operation remain in jail.
The group were arrested after a failed recovery mission of Faulkner’s two children. They charges that were subsequently laid against them could have meant from three years to life in jail.
Judge Abdullah previously stated that there was “no way the charges will be dropped” against the group.
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