THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Laurent Gbagbo's defense lawyer has urged the International Criminal Court to release the former Ivory Coast president from pretrial custody, saying he is too ill and poor to flee justice.
But prosecutor Gilles Dutertre has warned the court Gbagbo has a network of supporters prepared "to commit violent acts" to return him to power if he is freed.
Defense lawyer Emmanuel Altit insists Gbagbo "has no money and ... because of ill health he cannot abscond."
Gbagbo was not in court for Tuesday's hearing. Details of his ill health have not been released.
Gbagbo was extradited almost a year ago to face charges stemming from murder and rape committed by his supporters as he tried to cling to power following disputed 2010 elections. Gbagbo says he is innocent.