A spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office said in an email to AFP that it was investigating “against persons unknown” on suspicion of “intentionally causing an explosive blast” and “sabotage” linked to the leaks.
Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office typically only opens investigations into cases involving national security such as terror attacks.
It said that its involvement in the case was justified by the fact that a “violent attack on the energy supply could impact the external and internal security” of the country.
The probe comes in addition to cases opened by German federal police and the federal bureau of investigations. German prosecutors said there was “sufficient evidence” that Nord Stream 1 and 2 were “intentionally damaged with at least two detonations”.
They said their probe was aimed primarily at “identifying the perpetrator or perpetrators as well as the possible motive”. Swedish authorities said on Thursday that an inspection of two of the leaks reinforced suspicions that they were acts of sabotage, with “detonations” that led to “extensive damage to the gas pipelines”.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany, have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
While the pipelines are not currently in operation, they both still contained gas before they fell victim to apparent sabotage.
Both Moscow and Washington have denied responsibility for the leaks, which were discovered in late September. Germany, Sweden and Denmark formed a joint investigation unit to probe the apparent “sabotage”.