Tara Brown and her 60 Minutes crew will likely be slapped with a small fine for their role in the botched Sally Faulkner child recovery.
Ms Faulkner and child recovery specialist Adam Whittington have been charged with kidnapping.
The state charges were laid after an 84-day investigation, during which Mr Whittington has been imprisoned in a ‘rat-infested’ Lebanon jail cell.
Tara Brown and the 60 Minutes will likely be charged with a misdemeanour for their role in the botched child abduction. They face a fine of up to $670 each
Ms Brown and the Channel Nine team, including sacked producer Stephen Rice, were charged with not reporting a crime.
It is a misdemeanour offence carrying a maximum fine of $670.
Reaching the decision, Judge Rami Abdullah said: ‘It is over for them.
‘I was fair with them, much too fair, more than fair with their job they go to difficult places and they were asked to be part of this by their bosses.’
Former Australian soldier Adam Whittington has been charged with kidnapping and assault after an 84-day wait in prison
It is understood the charge of kidnapping attracts a maximum penalty of three years in prison.
The move to charge Faulkner is unexpected as Judge Abdullah has previously stated that he did not believe a mother could be found to have kidnapped her own children.
Mr Whittingon, an Australian soldier from 1994 to 1998, has been jailed for his role in the kidnapping while the government conducted an investigation.
Working for Child Abduction Recovery International, he travelled to Lebanon alongside a team from Channel 9 in an attempt to recover Ms Faulkner’s two children from her partner, Ali Elamine.
Ms Faulkner says she took the action after her estranged husband took the children on a two-week holiday in May 2015 and did not return them to Australia as promised.
They were arrested after snatching Ms Faulkner’s children, although Mr Elamine dropped personal charges against the 60 Minutes team after reportedly receiving a significant payout from Channel 9.
Sally Faulkner (pictured) and her estranged husband Ali Elamine have previously reached an agreement which gave him full custody in return for her release from prison
Although the Nine Network journalists and crew have avoided criminal charges, they will face a court-imposed fine after a trial.
In a statement, Channel Nine said: ‘We have been advised tonight by our legal team in Lebanon that the charges our 60 Minutes crew are facing in Lebanon have been downgraded.
‘There will still be a trial on a date to be determined and out of respect for the Lebanese legal process we will not be making any further comment while the matter is still before the court.’
Ali Elamine reportedly dropped personal charges against the 60 Minutes crew for a significant payout
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