‘Devil’s Advocate’ arrested in Palma to call Blair to the dock

By Nicole Hallett  – Euro Weekly News February 23, 2011

Saddam Hussein’s former lawyer, Giovanni di Stefano, arrested last week in Palma for numerous alleged frauds in the UK, announced Monday his plans to summon former Prime Minister Tony Blair, an M16 agent and diplomats as witnesses at his trial. The Italian lawyer seeks to question them about the role they played in the charges against him and has attributed his arrest to “political reasons”, pointing out that he had backed eventual court proceedings against former Prime Minister Tony Blair over the Iraq war.

He testified before Spain’s National Court Judge Santiago Pedraz that the European warrant for his arrest was issued six days after he wrote to the British Attorney General about the case against Blair.

Di Stefano has accused Blair of “conspiring” to stop his attempt to take him to the bench for the death of “1,332,227 Iraqi citizens that have died in Iraq since 2003 and 179 British soldiers killed to date.”

He was arrested in Palma de Mallorca on February 14 on 18 charges of embezzlement and fraud in Britain.

He allegedly acted as a lawyer in the UK without authorization and embezzled clients between 2004 and 2009, according to the British court.

Di Stefano says that all the allegations against him are based on four of the 200 clients he has represented, who accepted an offer to sue the British police.

He was released briefly to undergo surgery at a Palma hospital and was due to be extradited to Britain.

Di Stefano has been dubbed ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ for having represented various notorious men including the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Charles Bronson, serial killer Harold Shipman, and one of the Great British train robbers Ronald Biggs, to name a few.

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