Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Sunday that he will not sign any death sentence, not even for his ousted predecessor Saddam Hussein.
Talabani, who opposes capital punishment, told the pan-Arab Al-Arabiya television that "I am a man of principles ... If there is a clash between the post and the principles, I will give up the post and keep the principles."
Earlier this month, Talabani delegated his deputy to sign death sentences for three men convicted of murder.
As for Saddam's fate, the president said he expected the former leader to be convicted.
"I think a sentence will be passed on Saddam Hussein before my term ends," he told the channel in an interview.
Saddam, who was toppled in April 2003, is expected to be tried within two months on charges of crimes against humanity during his more than two decades of iron-fisted rule. If found guilty, he faces the death penalty.