The 60 Minutes crew and Australian mother Sally Faulkner remain in a Beirut prison after the judge overseeing their attempted kidnapping case postponed their court hearing for a second time.
The group appeared briefly before a judge Rami Abdullah at the Palace of Justice yesterday before proceedings were pushed back to Wednesday, allowing their lawyers to further negotiate a deal.
Judge Abdullah’s comments at the hearing were not in favour of Faulkner and the television crew, saying it was not a “custody case” but a kidnapping one, suggesting more serious penalties.
“It’s not a custody case my friend. They are charged with kidnapping two kids. It’s not a custody case at all,” he said.
The lawyers of Faulkner and her ex-husband are currently working towards a deal which would give full custody to the father of the two children, allowing Faulkner to visit either in Lebanon or in a third country.
Elamine, the children’s father, has said such visits would not occur in Australia.
Another matter that will have to be addressed before a resolution is reached is whether Channel Nine paid for the botched child recovery operation which occurred on April 7.
Currently the group faces four charges including hiding information, forming an association with two or more people to commit crime against a person, kidnapping or holding a minor even with their approval, and physical assault.
These charges could see them spend any time from three years to life in jail.