Iraq's toppled ruler Saddam Hussein had confessed to killings and other "crimes" committed during his regime, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Tuesday.
In an interview on Iraqiya state television, Talabani said he had been informed by a judge that "he was able to extract confessions from Saddam's mouth" about crimes "such as executions" which Saddam had personally ordered.
The president said the ousted leader should be hanged "20 times" for his crimes, while confirming that he will not sign a death warrant himself.
"Saddam deserves a death sentence 20 times a day because he tried to assassinate me 20 times," said Talabani, a Kurdish rebel leader fighting the Baghdad authorities during Saddam's regime.
Talabani added that as leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, he had once signed up his party to an international ban on capital punishment.
But he stressed that political pressure would play no part in the judges' decision, saying he will not "block the decision of the court."