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Saddam Hussein’s Lawyer Convicted of Money Laundering and Fraud

Giovanni di Stefano, an Italian who acted as defense attorney for Saddam Hussein and former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, was convicted on money laundering, fraud and deception charges by a London court.

Di Stefano claimed to be a lawyer for more than eight years in “order to line his own pockets,” U.K. prosecutors said in a statement today. He was charged in March 2011 with stealing a BMW and lying about his legal qualifications.

“This was fraud by anyone’s standards,” Hilary Ryan, from the Crown Prosecution Service’s organized crime division, said in the e-mailed press release. “Giovanni Di Stefano routinely tricked his clients and abused their trust.”

Di Stefano, who frequently traveled to Iraq during cases that resulted in Hussein being hanged in 2006, also represented former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. He earlier represented U.K. physician Harold Shipman, known as “Doctor Death” because he murdered at least 215 of his patients over 23 years.

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