'Devil's Advocate' to contest European poll

One of the world’s most controversial lawyers, dubbed the 'Devil’s Advocate' for representing tyrants and serial killers, is to stand for election in the Republic of Ireland.

Giovanni Di Stefano, who claims Patrick ’Dutchy’ Holland as part of his family, said he will contest the European elections on an immigration platform.

The Anglo-Italian millionaire believes his 'Radical Party of Great Britain and Ireland', which has no elected representatives, can make a breakthrough in the 2009 polls.

“I’m going to run in Ireland in the European elections. You better believe it,” he told the latest edition of Hot Press magazine.

“One of the things we’ll have to deal with, as a matter of urgency, is immigration. That is the key thing because otherwise you are going to dilute Irish blood to such an extent that you’ll almost wish that Cromwell hadn’t got ill.”

Mr Di Stefano is known as a contentious character who has faced questions before about the legitimacy of his legal qualifications.

He gained notoriety himself for taking on clients that read like a who’s who of the world’s most infamous figures – including Saddam Hussein, Harold Shipman and Slobodan Milosevic.

He is also known in Ireland for representing underworld gangsters John Gilligan and Patrick ’Dutchy’ Holland as well as the recently-murdered Martin ’Marlo’ Hyland and John Daly.

The 52-year-old lawyer insists that Gilligan is “a bloody good man” who had nothing to do with journalist Veronica Guerin’s murder.

“He may be the biggest scallywag in Ireland but he has to be treated fairly,” he said.

“He’s a bloody good man. He may be a lot of things, but he is not a liar. I rate John Gilligan.”

On ’Dutchy’ Holland, Mr Di Stefano said: “I would describe him – and I want you to quote this – as part of my family.”

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