A week after Australian mother Sally Faulkner’s tearful return home following 13 days in a Beirut jail, the man engaged to recover her children from her estranged husband is still fighting for his release.
Adam Whittington, the Australian-British child recovery agent who oversaw the botched April 6 operation that led to his arrest, along with that of Faulkner, 60 Minutes journalist Tara Brown and her crew, and his British colleague Craig Michael, is awaiting a Lebanese court decision on his bail.
He remains angry he was excluded from the deal the Nine Network reached with Faulkner’s estranged Lebanese husband, Ali Elamine, and the court that allowed the other Australians to be released on bail on April 20.
In its limited statements following the release of its staff, Nine has sought to distance itself from Whittington and Michaels.
“Adam is very upset because he believes there has been a political double-standard applied to his situation,” his lawyer Joe Karam said in Beirut on Friday.
“There was a contractual arrangement between Channel Nine and Adam. Channel Nine was twice invoiced by his company. How can they deny there was a relationship?”
Mr Karam has released one document to the media showing a direct electronic payment of $A69,000 from Nine’s account to an account associated with Whittington’s company, Child Abduction Recovery International.
He told AAP he would soon be releasing further proof of the arrangement between the news network and Whittington.
“By now everyone must know Adam was not the brains behind this operation. The mother, Sally Faulkner, was the brains and Channel Nine was the financier.
“Channel Nine knew they were taking a critical risk and they must be held liable for that. People at the highest level of the organisation made decisions and they have a moral and ethical obligation not to desert those they engaged.”
Elamine dropped personal kidnap charges against Faulkner, Brown and her crew, paving the way for them to be released on bail.
But he was not prepared to do the same for Whittington and Michael, describing them earlier as the muscle on the ground who snatched his two children, Lahela, 5 and Noah, 3 from the street, injuring his elderly mother in the process.
All of those involved are still facing an investigation by the public prosecutor and the possibility of state charges of kidnapping and being a member of a criminal gang.
Despite the serious situation, Whittington is holding up well, Karam said.
He was hopeful a decision on bail would be made by May 4.