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Recovery team angry Nine left them in prison

The child recovery team who were jailed with a 60 Minutes crew in Lebanon after a bungled mission are “very upset” they were not included in the deal that saw Channel Nine’s crew returned home, their lawyer has said.

Child recovery agent Adam Whittington and his three contractors who remain in custody, have told their lawyer the 60 Minutes team hired them to snatch the children of Sally Faulkner and her estranged husband Ali Elamine, off a Beirut street.

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The four-member 60 Minutes crew and Ms Faulkner were jailed, but the crew returned to Australia Thursday night and Ms Faulkner is on her way back after Mr Elamine struck a deal that saw their charges abandoned.

But he has continued to pursue charges against the child recovery crew who snatched his young son and daughter from their grandmother.

“My client is still there [in Beirut]. He’s very upset that Channel Nine left him behind and that they have … not at all [been] taken care of,” Mr Whittington’s lawyer Joe Karam told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

“My client believes that he should have been a part of that deal and that it’s unfair and immoral not to include him.

60 Minutes abduction

Father played hardball with Nine. Getty.

“They have decided on their own that he’s not part of that deal and not part of that team.

“Despite that, he has been paid by them and there is a lot of exchanges he had with officials from Channel Nine, where it was obvious that they were asking him to do certain things related to what happened.”

In addition to a bank statement released Thursday showing TCN Channel Nine paid the team $69,000 for its involvement in the attempted abduction, Mr Karam said another payment of $46,000 had been made.

Mr Karam said Channel Nine, including their head of news Darren Wick, were “distancing themselves” from his clients.

“They didn’t at all want to talk to us,” he said.

“Even the director of news, Mr Darren Wick, he was there.

“He was trying to escape from facing me, even, when he was here to assist his team.”

Anthony McClellan, a former 60 Minutes producer who now specialises in crisis management as principal of AMC Media, told the ABC’s Lateline program if 60 Minutes paid the recovery team directly, “heads will have to roll”.

Sally Faulkner and kids Lahela and Noah

Mother of the two children, Sally Faulkner, was also jailed. (Facebook)

“If that’s the case, I think they need to fess up as quickly as possible. They’ve made a tragic and terrible error of judgement,” he said.

“A mistake that, which is getting lost in this story, has led to the mother actually now losing custody of her children.”

Mr McClellan said the review of events leading to the crew’s arrest announced by Channel Nine was “a bit of a con”.

“They don’t need an inquiry to find out what happened. They know what happened,” he said.

“This is a media device to buy time for them to get their act together.”

Mr Turnbull earlier told Sydney radio station 2SM that the actions of the crew “appears to have been most unwise”.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or who you work for, when you are overseas — if you’re an Australian — you must obey the laws of the country in which you were visiting,” he said.

“Nobody is above the law.”

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