Spain investigates leader of Nigeria's Boko Haram militants on charges of terrorism

Spain is opening a probe into Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau on suspicion of terrorism and crimes against humanity, under the legal principle of universal justice.

National Court judge Fernando Andreu said in a ruling published Thursday the probe refers to an attack by the Nigerian militant group on Ganye in 2013 when a Spanish nun was subjected to molestation and coercion. The ruling says she managed to escape.

The court ruling asked authorities to locate the nun and requested information on Boko Haram from the United Nations.

Spain tightened its law on universal justice last year, with a legal reform stipulating a Spanish victim must be involved. Before that, the principle was famously used by former judge Baltasar Garzon in his attempts to prosecute former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.