So how much did it cost to free Tara Brown and crew?

IT'S the question worth $64,000 and quite possibly much more.

How much did Channel Nine pay in compensation for the charges to be dropped against their star 60 Minutes team detained in Lebanon?

On Wednesday executives at the network scrambled to make a compensation payment and complete paperwork in order for the charges against their four crew members to be scrapped.

Hours later, presenter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice, sound recordist David Ballment and cameraman Ben Williamson left custody in a mini-van and headed straight for the airport in Beirut.

Mr Elamine denied he received any money and said he dropped the charges against his estranged wife because he did not want the kids to think he left her in jail. He also said the television crew were simply doing their job and he did not blame him for their role.

However The Australian reports the compensation involved a "multi-million dollar deal" and cited a source close to negotiations as saying it was "very big by Lebanese standards". Another said it was "certainly not in the millions".

"My sources were telling me that money was not as extravagant as as being bandied around," said News Corp Australia's Jacqueline Magnay.

"Not in millions of millions but it was enormous by Lebanese standards," she said.

More on this at


BREAKING: 60 Minutes Crew to walk free

ALMOST two weeks after they were first detained Tara Brown, her 60 Minutes crew and Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner are finally going to walk free. 

After 13 days in Baadba women's prison a deal was struck whereby the children's father reportedly dropped the charges against the Australians and received a substantial - although as yet undisclosed - amount of compensation.

Sally Faulkner with Noah, 3, or Lahela, 5.
Sally Faulkner with Noah, 3, or Lahela, 5.

The news is not as good for the child recovery specialists involved in the case. 

It is understood at this stage that the children's father, Ali Elamein has reportedly said the 60 Minutes crew was just doing its job.

However he will proceed with the charges against Adam Whittington and his colleague - the men who masterminded the abduction attempt.

BREAKING: THERE are reports a deal has been stuck whereby Tara Brown, the 60 Minutes crew and Sally Faulkner will walk free however things are not looking so rosy for the child abduction specialists involved in the case.  

Reporter on the ground Channel Nine's Tom Steinfort broke the news on Twitter.

The children's father, Ali Elamein has reportedly said the 60 Minutes crew was just doing its job but he will proceed with the charges against the child abduction specialists.

EARLIER: An investigative judge is set to drop charges against Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner and she will be immediately released.

However at this stage there is no deal for the remaining 60 Minutes crew or the two British members of the Child Abduction Recovery International firm, NewsCorp reports.

Sally Faulkner's lawyer Ghassan Moghabghab said he had reached an agreement earlier but would not elaborate ahead of the court hearing which started at 11am local time (6pm AEDT).

"Somehow we reached a deal," he said.

Later the lawyer representing child abduction expert Adam Whittington also said a release was on the cards. 

"We hope that justice will find its way ... and that they will get released or released on bail, because locking them up for two weeks is too much," the lawyer, Joe Karam told AAP.