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Ali Elamine: '60 Minutes can’t show footage of kidnapped kids'

My (agreement with) Sal and Channel Nine was that Sal drops the custody charges in Australia and Channel Nine (doesn’t) use that footage...

The father of two children at the center of a botched child recovery scandal has said Channel Nine will not be able to air any footage of his kids that was taken after they were snatched off the street in Lebanon.
During a pre-recorded interview on The Project, which aired on Thursday night, Mr Elamine confirmed that one of the conditions which saw the release of Sally Faulkner, Tara Brown and the 60 Minutes crew after tow weeks in custody was there would be restrictions on what the station could broadcast.
“My (agreement with) Sal and Channel Nine was that Sal drops the custody charges in Australia and Channel Nine (doesn’t) use that footage that they filmed in the process of... and don’t bring up the kids’ names,” Mr Elamine said.
Mr Elamine, who is a Lebanese-American who runs a surf shop in Beirut, said that this stipulation was what he believed would be best for the kids.
Mr Elamine also told The Project he was still legally married to his estranged wife, Ms Faulkner, and did not break any laws in taking the couple’s children, Lahela, 5, and Noah, 3, to Lebanon and keeping them there without their mother’s permission.
The Lebanese-American also reiterated claims he was not paid a cent by Channel Nine to drop kidnapping charges.
“I didn’t communicate any money… I didn’t sign on any money, none of that happened,” Mr Elamine told The Project hosts.
But he did confirm that Ms Faulkner would have to drop her custody battle in Australia as part of her release.
When she was freed overnight after spending two weeks in a Beirut prison Ms Faulkner told Nine while in a van that she was devastated about how things had turned out.
"I love them and mummy's sorry that it all worked out this way. I tried,” she said.
Adding: "I hope I can see them one day again in Australia, I really do."
The Brisbane mother, who has a 3-month-old baby with her current partner,
and 60 Minutes crew are due back in Australia where Chanel Nine will assess what went wrong.
In an email written by the station’s CEO, Hugh Marks to Nine staff, which was obtained by APP, the TV boss wrote:
"It is important to reiterate that at no stage did anyone from Nine or 60 Minutes intend to act in any way that made them susceptible to charges that they breached the law or to become part of the story that is Sally's story," Mr Marks stated.
"But we did become part of the story and we shouldn't have."

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