'Devil's Advocate' and defender of Saddam Hussein is arrested

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The Independent Online

A celebrity lawyer whose clients have included Saddam Hussein, Gary Glitter, Harold Shipman and Ian Brady has been arrested at his Spanish villa.

Giovanni Di Stefano, 55, was held at his luxury home on Majorca on Monday night over fraud allegations in the UK, but has now been freed.

He had been under a police guard at a hospital on the island after telling detectives he was suffering from a serious illness.

A spokeswoman for the National Police in Majorca said: "Giovanni Di Stefano, 55, was arrested at his home near Palma on Monday night on a European Arrest Warrant issued by a British court over a number of fraud allegations." They would not comment on what the allegations related to.

Di Stefano has been dubbed the "Devil's Advocate" for his role defending some of the world's most notorious villains. He was one of several lawyers who worked for Saddam Hussein before the dictator was executed in December 2006.