The 60 Minutes crew detained in Lebanon could face up to 20 years in jail following the alleged abduction of the two children at the centre of a story they were producing.
In a statement, the Nine Network confirmed the detained crew of four, including star reporter Tara Brown (pictured above), are facing charges of “offences related to kidnapping”.
“The matter appeared briefly before a judge in Beirut today, Tuesday, but it will be some days before the crew are interviewed by the judge which will be their first chance to defend the charges,” the statement read.
The Australian mother of the children, Sally Falkner, is also being detained and is reportedly facing similar charges.
The Australians were detained while producing a feature about Ms Falkner and her children, 4-year-old Noah and 6-year-old Lahela, who she alleges were illegally taken to Beirut by their father and never returned. She was allegedly attempting to retrieve them.
The children were seen to be snatched by a group of men from their Lebanese grandmother while walking along a Beirut street and bundled in to a car. The dramatic scene was capture by nearby CCTV cameras and aired on Lebanese television.
The five Australians were subsequently arrested over the affair. They now face charges with possible sentences ranging from three years to 20 years.
According to the ABC, Lebanese authorities have said they have uncorroborated evidence the Nine Network paid for the botched operation which was reportedly carried out by a company with a controversial history of retrieving children in internationally disputed custody cases.
According to Nine News, application for bail has not been made and the crew will fight the charges.
A child recovery group has reportedly also had charges filed against the 60 Minutes crew.