A Spanish court has issued international arrest warrants for several former Chinese leaders, including retired President Jiang Zemin, as part of an investigation into alleged genocide in Tibet.

Judge Ismael Moreno signed the warrants Monday. They were ordered by the court in 2013, but delayed by legal technicalities.

The Spanish National Court is acting on the principal of universal justice in a case brought by Spanish pro-Tibetan groups. The warrants mean the Chinese leaders face possible arrest if they travel abroad.

The case has angered the Chinese and Spanish governments. The latter is expected to propose a reform that would restrict the court's powers to handle such investigations.

International human rights and pro-Tibetan groups have accused China of using oppressive policies in Tibetan regions, especially against protests of Beijing's rule.