MADRID - Spain's High Court will investigate whether seven former Chinese leaders committed genocide in Tibet, after Madrid's top court ruled Spain could try genocide cases even if they did not involve Spaniards.

The High Court said in an official document it would investigate the genocide accusations against several men, including former President Jiang Zemin and former Prime Minister Li Peng.

The case accuses the top officials of authorising massacres and torture. The court could call for Chinese authorities to arrest those accused and even impound their property.

China sent troops to impose its rule on Tibet in 1950 and after a failed uprising nine years later, Tibet's Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled to exile in India. China referred to the 1950 action as the liberation of Tibet.

The ruling also prompted the Falun Gong spiritual movement to file a genocide suit against Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai late last year.

- REUTERS