The Lebanese taxi driver used by 60 Minutes in its botched child abduction has said he knew nothing of the kidnapping and two years on is deep in debt and facing criminal charges.
Khaled Barbour, now 34, spent six months in Lebanon’s Ebbe jail in Tripoli, spent close to $15,000 in legal bills and lost his job for his role in driving Australian woman Sally Faulkner in a failed attempt to reclaim her two young children in Beirut.
After accepting an offer of US$500 in cash to ‘drive foreigners around Beirut for two days’ in 2016, Barbour said the decision ‘destroyed his life’, telling News Corp he ‘had never been to a police station and all of a sudden I am in prison.’
Claiming the ordeal has left him with no money, Mr Barbour said he had to sleep at a fire station where he has volunteered as a Civil Defence firefighter for 17 years.
Sally Faulkner went to Beirut to try to bring her two children Lahela, five, and Noah, three, back to Australia after they were taken to Lebanon by their 32-year-old father Ali Elamine in 2014.
Barbour works as a freelance driver as he has been unable to find work with a taxi company and now rents a taxi at the cost of $43 a day, the Daily Telegraphreported.
It has been two years since Noah, then three, and Lahela, then five, attempted to be taken from the streets of Beirut with Barbour as the getaway driver.
But Channel 9 left him behind in jail, failing to contact him or deliver on the promised payment, Barbour claims.
Mr Barbour’s lawyer Yusuf Lahhoud told News Corp the wait would be between three and five years ‘at a minimum’ before a judge decided his client’s guilt or innocence.
’60 Minutes bring him and put him in this situation without him knowing,’ he said.
‘He’s innocent. He knows nothing. It was him as a taxi-driver.’
Although Barbour is currently free on bail, his mental health remains unclear.
Channel Nine has since avoided questions about what responsibilities the network held to Mr Barbour.
Daily Mail Australia contacted the Nine Network for comment but did not receive a reply by the time of publication.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding parental abduction to or from Australia or Lebanon feel free to contact us 24 / 7. We are always available at email@example.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)