Australian Leader Supports Detained TV Crew Accused of Kidnapping in Lebanon

Four-member crew is among nine suspects caught up in smuggling attempt of two Lebanese-Australian siblings.

Two employees enter a compound that houses the Australian Embassy, Beirut, Lebanon, April 7, 2016.
AP

AP - Australia's prime minister says his government is providing top-level consular support to an Australian television crew facing charges after being caught up in a mother's bungled child-snatching attempt in Lebanon.

A four-member TV crew from Nine Network is among nine suspects who have been in police custody since two Lebanese-Australian siblings aged 4 and 6 were snatched at a South Beirut bus stop last week in a bid to smuggle them out of the country.

Lebanon's National News Agency has reported that Prosecutor Claude Karam charged the nine with kidnapping and referred them to an investigative judge.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Wednesday that Australia's foreign minister has raised the case with her Lebanese counterpart and Australia's ambassador in Beirut was overseeing consular efforts to support the TV crew.