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Sally Faulkner ignored lawyer's advice

AAP logoAAP 24/10/2016 Belinda Tasker

Sally Faulkner ignored the advice of her Lebanese lawyer to send him an Australian Family Court order granting her custody of her two children well before they were caught up in a botched kidnap attempt in Beirut.

Ms Faulkner's lawyer, Ghassan Moughabghab, says he asked her several times to send him the judgment so it could be executed in Lebanon.

Her ex-husband Ali Elamine had taken their son and daughter on a two-week holiday to Lebanon in 2015 but then refused to let them return to Australia.

"I don't know for what reason she didn't do that although I was following her, asking her all the time, 'when will you send me this judgment' and she was postponing all the time, I don't know for what reason," he said.

Mr Moughabghab was speaking to ABC TV's Australian Story in the second and final part of a program about Ms Faulkner's unsuccessful attempt to reclaim her children from Lebanon with the help of a child recovery agency and a 60 Minutes TV crew in April.

Ms Faulkner was granted sole custody of Lahela, five, and Noah, three, by the Australian Family Court in December 2015.

However, she didn't register those orders in Lebanon's civil court because she didn't believe they would help.

"My lawyer did say that was an option but from the stories and the research and everything I'd heard, there is absolutely no guarantee, no promise and the chances are quite minimal of being able to be granted custody," Ms Faulkner told Australian Story.

"I understand how it came across as very disrespectful to do such a thing in a different country where, you know, I disrespected their laws, but I feel like it's just not fair, it's not a level playing field."

But Mr Moughabghab believed "going the legal way" should have been her first option.

"Nobody gave her the authority to kidnap the children," Mr Moughabghab said.

"At the beginning Sally was in a good position to get back the children. Now she is in a lesser position to get back the children."

Two of the local Lebanese involved in the abduction attempt have also revealed how scared they were as the children were snatched off a Beirut street, bundled into a car, and taken to a local apartment.

The driver Khaled Barbour described how the children screamed and cried as they were forced into the vehicle where Ms Faulkner and a 60 Minutes cameraman were waiting.

As he sped off, he feared Lebanese soldiers would start shooting.

"If the army would have shot at the car, no one would have come out alive," he said.

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