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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 14:56 GMT
Anger over Di Stefano comments
Giovanni Di Stefano at Dundee FC's Dens Park ground
Mr Di Stefano's views have sparked protest
Comments from lawyer and Dundee FC director Giovanni Di Stefano have prompted a call for him to step down from the club.

The call from a Dundee councillor came ahead of a documentary to be screened on Thursday night.

In it the multi-millionaire praises dictators like Saddam Hussein and Mussolini.

Bruce Mackie, Tory group leader on the city council, has called for the club to sever ties with him completely.

Mr Di Stefano has insisted that he will not surrender his directorship at Dens Park unless the other directors put up 20m to take the club out of administration.

The BBC documentary Notorious: The Devil's Advocate, being screened on BBC Two Scotland at 2150 GMT, details the lawyer's work for clients such as M25 killer Kenneth Noye and seriel killer Harold Shipman.

Does he look like a guilty man to you? Harold Shipman, does he look like a guilty man?
Giovanni Di Stefano
Mr Di Stefano had been working on an appeal for Shipman, before he took his own life in prison earlier this week.

"Does he look like a guilty man to you? Harold Shipman, does he look like a guilty man?" he asked during the interview in July 2003.

And on deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, whom Mr Di Stefano has offered to defend, the lawyer reveals he believes Saddam still has a legal claim to power.

"I still believe today, in July, that he is the rightful elected president of Iraq," he said.

Dundee supporters

Mr Di Stefano went on to praise WWII Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, saying he "absolutely" admired the fascist dictator for fostering an ideology of "let's do it and let's do it right".

He also spoke warmly of Serbian warlord Arkan Raznatovic who was assassinated in January 2000.

Mr Di Stefano had been prepared to defend him against an indictment for war crimes.

However, he made clear there was a distinction between his professional and personal interest in the cases he takes.

"The fact that I mix with criminals doesn't make me one, I'm their lawyer," he said.

As a life-long Dundee supporter I would think that the best news that he could give us is that he severs all connections with the club
Cllr Bruce Mackie
Dundee City Council
Mr Mackie said: "His views are certainly not those in line with right-minded people in the city of Dundee," said Mr Mackie.

"As a life-long Dundee supporter I would think that the best news that he could give us is that he severs all connections with the club."

Mr Di Stefano promised 26m for Dundee FC when he arrived at the club last year, but the money has yet to materialise and the club's other directors, Jimmy and Peter Marr, would like him to stand down.

Dave Webster, of the Dundee Mad website, said fans are split on their colourful director.

"Some fans would gladly see the back of him, having said that, some fans would also gladly see the back of all the directors, not just Di Stefano," said Mr Webster.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Andrew Anderson
"An extraordinary general meeting looks likely to be called"



SEE ALSO:
Lawyer ready to represent Saddam
19 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Noye's lawyer wants inquiry
20 Oct 03  |  England
Di Stefano vows to stay
13 Oct 03  |  Dundee
Di Stefano on board at Dens
07 Aug 03  |  Dundee
Shipman to appeal
12 May 03  |  Manchester
Hoogstraten to fight conviction
12 Mar 03  |  England
'Persecuted' for Brink's-Mat case
23 Apr 02  |  England


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