German prosecutors say they have opened an investigation into alleged violations of international law by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Federal prosecutors made clear Tuesday that they don't plan to bring charges of their own against Gadhafi but would seek to gather evidence for the International Criminal Court's case against the Libyan leader.
The prosecutors said they are acting on several criminal complaints. A spokesman declined to elaborate on their contents.
Germany has been able to investigate under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows states to pursue foreigners for crimes carried out abroad, since 2002.
The ICC's chief prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants for Gadhafi, son Seif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanoussi, accusing them of committing crimes against humanity.