PARIS — Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Wednesday that he will not sign off on a death penalty sentence against Tariq Aziz, seen by many as the international face of Saddam Hussein's government.
"I cannot sign an order of this kind because I am a Socialist," Talabani told France 24 TV, in an interview aired Wednesday. "I feel compassion for Tarik Aziz because he is a Christian, an Iraqi Christian."
"In addition, he is an elderly man — aged over 70 — and this is why I will never sign this order," Talabani said in Arabic through a translator.
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