Father Of Botched 60 Minutes Kidnapping Speaks Out
It’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for everyone involved in the 60 Minutes botched kidnapping scandal.
Australian media have been focused on covering Tara Brown and Sally Faulkner and their ordeal, while the father, Ali Elamine has stayed someone quiet from the outset.
The story we were led to believe was that Elamine deceived his wife, Sally Faulkner, by taking the children to Lebanon for a holiday and then keeping them over there.
Ms Faulkner’s version of events told us that she was desperate to get her children back after their father had committed the ultimate betrayal - and 60 Minutes got on board to back her cause in the form of an organised retrieval from Lebanon back to Australia.
That’s when the botched kidnapping went down.
Today, Kyle and Jackie O spoke exclusively to Mr Elamine about his version of events and to get a few things cleared up.
The first thing Mr Elamine cleared up was the fact that he and Sally Faulkner are in fact, still technically married.
Jackie’s first question was to address why he took the children from their mother and back to Lebanon.
He replied, I saw a few things happening in regards to Sal's parenting and decided it was best for the kids to stay with me.”
When Jackie pressed him further, he revealed that his daughter had told him “Mummy’s friend keeps sleeping in the same bed as us” - and I didn't like it.
Then Mr Elamine was asked if he really had found out about the kidnapping attempt through the family iPad. He revealed that he had.
He said that he reached out to Sally and asked her to stop whatever it was she was organising. Then one day he was asked to go down to teach a surfing lesson (which is something he does), and when he revealed he couldn’t make it, the person on the phone was very adamant that he come down.
That made him weary and led him to believe Sally or her people were behind it in a bid to get him away from the children.
"They figured an older lady in her 70s and a helper are not going to be much of a threat,” he said.
Mr Elamine then explained that a little while later he got a call saying 'I've got the kids, they’re okay, meet me at the embassy to talk.’ I said ‘you’re not going to tell me to meet you at the embassy. Then police were able to use the data off my phone and they tracked down the number,’ which was linked to the guy from the child retrieval company.
In regards to money, there have been countless rumours that Mr Elamine has received millions in compensation - from Channel Nine , however he claims he has been paid NOTHING.
"I'm really hoping I get something. But it's all about the custody of the kids. Channel Nine rode off of her back."
"The only thing I asked Channel Nine was to not use the footage and leave the kids out of it."
He then spoke of the courtroom and the legal processes.
"I can't remember if they [Tara Brown and 60 Minutes] did apologise. I felt bad towards Benjamin and David [from 60 Minutes] more than the rest. They have kids, I know Tara Brown has kids too.”
Tara Brown is officially free. Joins her 60 Minutes colleagues in a van headed for Beirut Airport pic.twitter.com/SudA5euSgq— Tom Steinfort (@tomsteinfort) April 20, 2016
Then Jackie asked him about what he told the kids about the ordeal. “I didn’t tell them anything about what really happened. I told the kids that mummy surprised them and that her friends were strong, I don't want them to know she was in jail. They think she flew in for one day and they’ll see her for lunch before she goes and I’ll tell them she flew in for the day again.”
And finally, he addressed the rumours that he had wanted to make Sally and the 60 Minutes crew suffer in prison.
"That's not true, I didn't want to make them suffer. But my mum received a concussion, someone has to… suffer for what they did."