A plane carrying former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, facing an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court, arrived at Rotterdam airport Wednesday, a Reuters witness said.

The Hague-based court, which is also pursuing Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and investigating alleged crimes in Kenya, Libya and Central African Republic, has so far declined to comment on the warrant.

Gbagbo would be the first former head of state to be tried by the ICC since its inception in 2002.

The ICC opened an investigation last month into killings, rapes and other abuses committed during a four-month conflict triggered by Gbagbo's refusal to cede power to Alassane Ouattara in last year's Ivorian election. The conflict ended only when French-backed pro-Ouattara forces captured him on April 11.

The ICC's silence means there is as yet no information on what exactly Gbagbo is to be charged with.

The Ivory Coast plane landed at Rotterdam airport at 02:44 a.m. BT and entered a hangar, the Reuters witness said.

Gbagbo had been flown by helicopter Tuesday from remote Korhogo in northern Ivory Coast, where he had been under house arrest since his capture, and transferred on to a plane, Ivorian military officials said.

(Reporting By Vanessa Romeo)