A French lawyer for ex-Chadian dictator Hissene Habre confirms he has been charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture by a special court set up in Senegal to try him.

Lawyer Francois Serres told The Associated Press the judges have ordered Habre detained. He has been in police custody since Sunday, when he was taken away from his villa in Senegal's capital.

After being ousted in a military coup 22 years ago, Habre sought refuge in Senegal, where he has lived freely as African and Senegalese authorities bickered over where he should be tried.

Human Rights Watch says it has retrieved evidence indicating that Habre's regime oversaw the murder of tens of thousands of people during the time when he was president of the Central African nation.