A former Australian soldier charged over a botched 60 Minutes child abduction attempt in Lebanon has walked from jail on bail and vowed to reveal ‘the truth’ about the saga.
In a brief statement released on Thursday through his Beirut-based lawyer and obtained by AAP, Adam Whittington said he had been free for two days after being granted bail by a Lebanese court last week.
‘At the moment the most important thing is to get home with my family, especially my two boys who believe their dad is never coming home,’ he said.
‘I ask that you kindly respect the privacy of my family during this period as they will not be making anymore comments to the media.
‘The truth is coming very soon.’
The dual Australian-British national and three of his colleagues were charged with kidnapping after the children of Brisbane mum Sally Faulkner, Lahela, five, and Noah, three, were taken from a Beirut street in April while being filmed by a Nine Network 60 Minutes crew.
The abduction attempt took place after Ms Faulkner’s estranged husband Ali Elamine took the children to Lebanon on holiday in May 2015 but never returned them to Australia.
Ms Faulker and the four-member 60 Minutes crew, including star reporter Tara Brown, were arrested in Beirut along with Mr Whittington and his colleagues from his child recovery agency just hours after the event.
While Ms Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew were released from jail after two weeks because Nine reportedly paid $500,000 to the children’s Lebanese father, Mr Whittington and his three colleagues were kept behind bars.
Mr Whittington is expected to fly to Sweden to be reunited with wife Karin and their two young sons, possibly by Friday.
In his statement, he thanked his Lebanese legal team, supporters in Australia, and the British and Australian embassies for their consular assistance.
‘I have and still am confident that justice will prevail with the assistance of Lebanese independent judges,’ he said.
Susan Brown, a Sydney-based friend of Mr Whittington who has led a support campaign in Australia, said he was well.
‘He is healthy, he is fine, he’s OK and more details will come tomorrow,’ she told AAP.
‘He wants his family’s privacy respected at this time.’
Ms Brown said Mr Whittington was expected to fly out of Lebanon on Friday (AEST).
‘I’m elated,’ she said.
‘I can’t put into words how happy I am that he is OK and that he is out.’
AAP/ Sky News
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