Ivorian officials have accused former rebel leader and presidential candidate, Guillaume Soro of plotting a coup.
Soro who intends contesting the 2020 presidential election if convicted could face life in prison. He is also accused of amassing weapons.
State prosecutor Richard Adou told reporters on Thursday that a recording made by the country’s intelligence services heard Soro allegedly planning a coup.
“The penalty for attempting a plot against state security is a life sentence,” Adou said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.
Ivorian prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Soro this week forcing him to abort a planned return to Ivory Coast by diverting his flight to Ghana.
Fifteen of his supporters, including Alain Lobognon, Soro’s right-hand man have also been detained.
Soro, a former national assembly president, was also under investigation for embezzlement of public funds and money laundering for amounts up to 1.5 billion CFA francs (2.2 million euros).
He led the rebels who failed to oust then-president Laurent Gbagbo in 2002.
Soro’s forces helped to install President Alassane Ouattara during a civil war that followed the 2010 election. Gbagbo and Ouattara both claimed victory.
Soro served for several years as speaker of the National Assembly but has since fallen out with Ouattara.
He retains the support of many former rebel commanders who are now serving in the army.