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Australian mother suggests forfeiting custody if husband drops abduction charges

By WITW Staff on April 15, 2016

Australian mother Sally Faulkner, who was arrested in Lebanon along with four members of a Channel Nine 60 Minutes crew after the failure of an alleged attempt to kidnap her two children from her estranged husband Ali el-Amien, has agreed to renounce all claims to custody and cooperate in getting a divorce if he drops abduction charges against her. Faulkner was granted sole custody of her children by the Australian Family Court on December 15, a ruling that even allowed Australian police or agents appointed by Faulkner to recover her children from her husband, who took them to Lebanon last May and did not return. She did not register the ruling in Lebanon, however, and now faces kidnapping charges.

Faulkner’s Lebanese lawyer, Ghassan Moghabghab, says that the child recovery team was paid directly by Faulkner using money given to her by 60 Minutes, but that it was unclear if the money paid to Faulkner was intended for the operation or as payment for her story. Authorities have said they had a signed statement from a member of the recovery team saying broadcaster Channel Nine paid $115,000 for the operation, but the statement is thus far uncorroborated.

Faulkner hopes for the right to see her children whenever she wants to in Lebanon, Australia, or elsewhere. If el-Amien agrees to drop charges against Faulkner, she would likely be released on bail, and the severity of charges for all involved could be reduced.

Read the full story at The ABC.