A Spanish judge says he has requested to interrogate eight Chinese leaders about allegations they committed crimes against humanity in Tibet.
National Court Judge Santiago Pedraz said Tuesday he sent a letter to Chinese authorities requesting permission to question the eight, who include China's ministers of defense Liang Guanglie, state security Geng Huichang, and public security Meng Jianzhu.
The judge agreed last year to hear the case against the senior Chinese government officials. The lawsuit was filed by two Tibetan rights group following the Chinese government's crackdown on Tibetan protests that began in March 2008.
The suit asserts that the defendants directed a campaign of systematic killings, torture, and forced disappearances against the Tibetan population beginning last March.
Plaintiffs say the Chinese government is responsible for more than 200 deaths, 1,000 serious injuries, and nearly 6,000 abductions during the crackdown.
Beijing says only one Tibetan was killed during the weeks of unrest. China's government has also blamed Tibetan rioters for the deaths of 20 people.
Spain's penal code allows the country's National Court to hear cases of genocide and crimes against humanity, regardless of where they take place and whom they concern.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP