BEIRUT, Lebanon — A bitter custody dispute between an Australian mother and a Lebanese father. A crew of sympathetic Australian television journalists. A grandmother who was clubbed on the head as the children were put into an S.U.V. that sped off.
Such were the ingredients in a bizarre transnational episode that resulted on Tuesday with criminal charges against nine people: the mother, the four members of the TV crew and two British and two Lebanese citizens, all accused of taking part in what prosecutors called an elaborate kidnapping plot.