Courier Mail admits guilt over Italian sisters photo

A BRISBANE newspaper has pleaded guilty to breaching the Family Law Act during its coverage of an international custody battle over four Sunshine Coast sisters last year.

The Australian Federal Police launched an investigation into The Courier-Mail after it published the names and photographs of the sisters at the centre of the dispute last year.

Photos of the girls were published on the front page of The Courier-Mail on May 15 and 16 last year, drawing a complaint from the Chief Justice of the Family Court.

The sisters were caught up in an international custody battle involving their Italian father.

The matter was mentioned in the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday.

Barrister Jeff Hunter, for the Murdoch newspaper, told the court the publisher intended to plead guilty to four counts of contravening the Family Law Act.

The guilty plea came despite indications the paper would defend the charges.

The sisters, who were born in Italy, were caught in the custody dispute after they did not return from an Australian holiday with their mother in 2010.

The family defied a court order that the girls be returned to their Italian father in Florence.

The girls, then aged 15, 14, 10 and nine, were taken from their Coast home in October by Australian Federal Police and flown to Italy.

Should the Courier Mail have published the girls' faces?

This poll ended on 24 August 2014.

Current Results

Yes, the public have the right to know


Yes, the law against it makes no sense


No, the law is there to protect the girls


No, the law is the law


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

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