AMMAN, Jordan – Saddam Hussein's (search) lawyer denied Thursday that the former president has confessed to ordering the deaths of more than 180,000 Kurds in the late 1980s.
The lawyer, Khalil Dulaimi (search), was responding to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's remarks in a state television broadcast Tuesday that Saddam had admitted he ordered the killing of the Kurds in northern Iraq.
"There was no confession from the president, and the investigation of this case does not incriminate the president at all," said Dulaimi, who is based in Baghdad and still regards Saddam as the president of Iraq (search).
"If it is proved that a certain judge has informed Mr. Talabani on the process of the investigation, this judge must resign immediately," Dulaimi said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press in Amman.
Dulaimi rebuked Talabani for his remarks, saying they meant "there will be no chance of a fair and clean trial."
"Mr. Talabani should not declare anything related to the secrecy of a legal process," Dulaimi said.
Talabani said an investigating judge "was able to extract confessions from Saddam's mouth" about numerous executions during his 24 years in power.
Talabani, a Kurd and the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, also said Saddam tried to assassinate him at least 20 times.
"Saddam Hussein is a war criminal, and he deserves to be executed 20 times a day for his crimes against humanity," Talabani told the television.
Saddam and seven other members of his regime are to stand trial in the Iraq Special Tribunal on Oct. 19. They are charged with ordering a massacre in Dujail in 1982 following an attempt to assassinate Saddam in the town north of Baghdad. The trial is likely to be the first of a series against Saddam.
An official of the tribunal has said Saddam made a statement last month in which he "boastfully" acknowledged a campaign against the Kurds in 1987-88.
"He said it was legal and justified," according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
Saddam has charged that Iraqi Kurds were aiding the enemy in Iraq's eight-year war against Iran.