The partner of an Australian mother arrested in Lebanon over a bungled attempt to allegedly snatch back her two children says she is being “treated right” by authorities.
Sally Faulkner is in custody in Lebanon along with a Nine Network TV crew and members of an international child recovery agency following an attempt to snatch back her children Noah, four, and Lahela, six, from her ex-husband Ali el-Amien.
Her current partner Brendan Pierce says he and the Brisbane woman’s family are coping with the ordeal and that Sally is being treated well.
“Everyone in the family is doing well. Sally is being treated right,” he told AAP but would not comment further.
“She is being treated right, I can confirm that but I want to leave it there.”
He would not say whether he had spoken to Ms Faulkner and would not confirm reports the pair had a three-month-old baby.
His comments came as a Lebanese newspaper reported authorities there would charge seven people over the incident on Monday.
The Daily Star reported that two of the nine people arrested over the affair had been released – though it was not clear who they were – and the remaining seven would likely be charged over the abduction.
Noah and Lahela were allegedly snatched from their paternal grandmother on a busy Beirut street by a group of masked men on Thursday.
The children were handed over to Ms Faulkner but the agents and a film crew from the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes, including reporter Tara Brown, were arrested a short time later.
Ms Faulkner was arrested the following day and the children have been returned to their father, who has said he won’t press charges against his ex-wife.
Nine has not responded to allegations it paid more than $100,000 to the child recovery agency to facilitate the operation.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the government was offering consular assistance to the arrested Australians.
“We are seeking through the usual diplomatic channels to ensure that they are kept safe and will be able to return,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.
“But you have to understand that in situations like these, often the less I say, the better it is for the people that are at risk or in these difficult circumstances overseas.”