Australian boss supports detained TV crew in Lebanon

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 8:00 AM

An Australian mother, a four-member TV crew from Nine Network, two British agents from the Britain-based Baby Abduction Recovery International company, known as CARI, and two Lebanese men have been in police custody since two Lebanese-Australian siblings aged four and six were snatched from a Beirut bus stop latest week in a tender to smuggle them out of the country.

Australian boss supports detained TV crew in Lebanon

Australia respects Lebanon'south right to prosecute an Australian television crew facing charges after being caught up in a mother'south bungled child-snatching attempt in Lebanon, Australia'south prime minister said Wednesday.

An Australian mother, a four-member TV crew from Nine Network, two British agents from the Britain-based Baby Abduction Recovery International company, known as CARI, and two Lebanese men have been in police custody since two Lebanese-Australian siblings aged four and six were snatched from a Beirut bus stop latest week in a tender to smuggle them out of the country.

Prosecutor Claude Karam on Tuesday charged the nine with kidnapping and referred them to an investigative judge who'll determine whether they'll be referred to Ct for trial, the state-run National News Agency reported.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Wednesday that Australia'south foreign minister had raised the case with her Lebanese counterpart and Australia'south ambassador in Beirut was personally overseeing consular efforts maintain the TV crew.

"We are providing them with every support, but of course we respect the Lebanese valid system and their right to inquire into and get proceedings if they perceive offenses have been committed," Turnbull told reporters.

Turnbull declined to declare whether he thought the TV crew was foolish to obtain involved in a baby custody dispute in Lebanon.

"I won't create any comment on the case, but I just create the observation that wherever you're in the world, you've to be very clear about recognizing that you should abide by with the local laws," Turnbull told Perth Radio 6PR.

"Where children are involved in a foreign jurisdiction such as Lebanon, it's the local courts — not the Australian government and much less private citizens — who create decisions about baby custody," he added.

The Australian mother said the children'south Lebanese father took them from their residence in Brisbane city to Beirut on a holiday latest year and never returned.

The network said its crew was in Beirut to film and interview the mother after she was reunited with her children.

The network won't declare whether it paid CARI to snatch the children and smuggle them out of Lebanon by boat.

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