The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is opening a formal investigation into possible crimes against humanity in Libya.
The probe by the Hague-based court is in response to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's violent crackdown against anti-government protesters.
A court statement Wednesday said Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will present an overview Thursday of alleged crimes committed in Libya since February 15, when the protests began. He also will name those who could be prosecuted.
Wednesday's announcement said Moreno-Ocampo decided an investigation was warranted after a "preliminary examination of available information."
In a resolution Saturday, the United Nations Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the ICC for further investigation.
The ICC said Moreno-Ocampo's office is working with the United Nations, the African Union, the Arab League and individual nations on the probe. The prosecutor also will request information from international police organization Interpol and other sources.
Moreno-Ocampo will then present his case to ICC judges, who will decide whether to issue arrest warrants.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.