Sep 29, 10:51 AM EDT

International court prosecutors extends scope of Ukraine preliminary probe

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has broadened her preliminary probe in Ukraine to cover possible crimes committed in the country since early 2014 - a period that saw Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Tuesday's announcement by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda came after Ukrainian authorities accepted the court's jurisdiction dating back to early last year.

While Ukraine is not a member of the court, it has twice voluntarily accepted its jurisdiction.

The first acceptance covered the period from November 2013 until February 2014 - weeks during which former President Viktor Yanukovych's regime staged a violent crackdown on demonstrators. Kiev's second acceptance of jurisdiction, lodged three weeks ago, starts in early 2014 and has no end date.

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