A Sierra Leone war crimes suspect has said he wants to contest presidential elections due next year on behalf of the ruling party.
Sam Hinga Norman will not be allowed out of custody to campaign
Sam Hinga Norman is the former head of the militias formed to fight rebels and is under detention by a UN-backed war crimes tribunal.
He is accused of ordering atrocities during Sierra Leone's long civil war.
A court spokesman told the BBC that Mr Norman would not be allowed out of custody to campaign.
Many in Sierra Leone see Mr Norman as a hero for organising the Civil Defence forces, or Kamajors, to stand up to the brutal Revolutionary United Front rebels.
He was defence minister during the war.
Mr Norman has written to the Special Court for Sierra Leone to ask to be allowed to campaign but this has been denied.
"He faces very serious counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity," court spokesman Peter Andersen told the BBC's Network Africa programme.
Sierra Leone is trying to come to terms with its brutal civil war
One of the charges is the forcible conscription of child soldiers - the first time the crime has been prosecuted under international law.
"When you're in detention, you lose some of your rights," Mr Andersen said.
Ruling Sierra Leone People's Party Secretary-General Prince Harding said Mr Norman had the same rights as any other party member to seek election as party leader.
President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah is due to step down after serving two terms.
Earlier this year former military ruler Valentine Strasser said he had formed a party to contest the poll.