The Receipts Channel Nine Don’t Want You To See
In the midst of an impending court appearance, the 60 Minutes crew who are the detained in Lebanon have reportedly started to turn on each other.
Child recovery expert Adam Whittington told News Corp Australia he has receipts showing direct payments for the ‘kidnapping operation’ from the Channel Nine accounts department.
Mr Whittington, who is currently detained behind bars, is ready to present evidence to the Beirut court today including the explosive revelation he received a whopping $115,000 for the recovery of the children.
“I have the receipts and internet payments; for [Channel Nine] to claim they weren’t involved is a joke,” he said from behind a door at Baabda detention centre.
No doubt his testimony could spell disaster for his cellmates; 60 Minutes producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David ‘Tangles' Ballment, as well as reporter Tara Brown, who is currently being held with mother of the children, Sally Faulkner.
The problem for Channel Nine is the fact that they have allegedly paid the company direct. A report on news.com.au states if they had simply paid Ms. Faulker, they could argue that they had no control over whether she used it for the abduction of her children.
Even if charges are dropped, the crew can expect to remain in jail for at least another week and a half as the Nine network fights to secure their release.
“They are taking heart from the support coming from Australia,” said reporter Tom Steinfort. The crew’s families yesterday urged Australians to withhold judgment and focus on bringing them home.
“People forget that Tara, Stephen, Ben and Tangles were over there doing a job; covering a story,” they said in a joint statement. “Obviously, this time, something went wrong.
“The analysis can come later. Right now, the priority is getting them all home.”
Tracy Grimshaw also got behind her Channel Nine colleagues, releasing an emotional piece in The Australian newspaper praising her detained colleagues as good people and saying that she wants them back safe. “There are a few bad apples in the industry just like anywhere else,” she wrote. “But not as many as some of the gleeful commentariat this past week or so would have you think.
“And none of them are sitting in a Beirut jail right now.”