Talabani says Saddam has confessed to crimes committed by his regime

Iraq's president said Tuesday that Saddam Hussein had confessed to "crimes" including killings committed during his regime.

President Jalal Talabani told Iraqi television that he had been informed by an investigating judge that "he was able to extract confessions from Saddam's mouth" about crimes "such as executions" which the ousted leader had personally ordered.

Talabani said that some of the confessions involved cases actively under investigation but he did not specify them. The ousted leader faces his first trial Oct. 19 for his alleged role in the massacre of Shiites in Dujail, a town north of Baghdad in 1982.

Saddam could face the death penalty if convicted in the Dujail case.

The Iraq Special Tribunal is also investigating Saddam's alleged role in other atrocities, including the 1988 gassing of thousands of Kurdish civilians in Halabja and the 1991 suppression of the Shiite rebellion in the south.

Iraqi authorities plan to try those cases separately, AP reported.

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