PARIS, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is now visiting France, refused to comment on the death sentence of his predecessor Saddam Hussein, insisting the trial was "fair", according to reports here on Sunday.
"He (Talabani) would not comment (on the sentence) because any comment would be regarded as interference in the court affairs," Iraqi presidential spokesman and chief of staff Kamaran Qaradaghi told AFP on telephone.
However, "the president thinks the court is independent and the trial was fair, conforming to the law," Qaradaghi said.
Saddam was found guilty on Sunday by the Iraqi High Tribunal of crimes against humanity and sentenced to hang in a case involving the deaths of Shi'ite men from the town of Dujail.
"The accused have one month to make an appeal. He (Talabani) will not make any comments (on the sentence) which will be regarded as interference" in the justice process, said Qaradaghi.
After the appeal period, Talabani would be called on to sign the official sentencing document if the execution order is upheld.
Talabani, until now, had never signed a death sentence because he had previously supported an international call against the death penalty, Qaradaghi said, "usually, a deputy is authorized to sign on his behalf."
"He says he cannot change his position," said Qaradaghi, who is accompanying Talabani in his visit to France.
Talabani and four government ministers arrived in Paris on Wednesday for an official visit on November 2-3. He is now remaining in France for private visits.