El Salvador's Supreme Court has ordered a lower tribunal to open a civil prosecution against former President Mauricio Funes for possible illicit enrichment.

Wednesday's ruling also freezes Funes' bank accounts and the titles to eight automobiles in his and a son's names.

The civil case does not involve criminal charges.

Nine of the 15 justices voted for the ruling after considering a report alleging that Funes was unable to justify more than $728,000 in expenditures.

The ex-president had predicted earlier that the court would order a prosecution. Via Twitter he criticized the ruling and argued that four of the justices had previously attacked his government while on the Constitutional Court.

Funes was president from 2009-2014 as a member of a political party that formed from a former guerrilla group.