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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Di Stefano's anti-wind farm talks
Giovanni di Stefano
Mr di Stefano and the group had talks in Dublin
An anti-wind farm group has asked controversial lawyer Giovanni di Stefano for assistance.

John Hodgson, of Skye Wind Farm Action Group (Swag), confirmed the former Dundee FC director is advising activists on their campaign.

Swag is opposed to Amec's plans to build a wind farm near Edinbane on the Isle of Skye.

Amec said it believed the project was seen as an asset by the majority of the local community.

Mr di Stefano lists serial killer Harold Shipman among previous clients.

Mr Hodgson said Swag approached Mr di Stefano two weeks ago.

"We have approached a number of people and sent a lot of letters asking for assistance and help," said Mr Hodgson.

A lot is said about Saddam Hussein but what is not reported are the lots of people he helps out of his own pocket
John Hodgson
Anti-wind farm protester

"We went to meet him in Dublin and we were quite impressed."

During the meeting, Mr di Stefano and the group spoke about his reputation for courting controversy.

In the past, he offered to defend deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The BBC documentary Notorious: The Devil's Advocate, screened in 2004, detailed Mr di Stefano's work for clients such as GP Harold Shipman.

Mr Hodgson said: "We know about his history and he actually warned us that he is controversial.

'David and Goliath'

"A lot is said about Saddam Hussein but what is not reported are the lots of people he helps out of his own pocket."

Mr Hodgson said having Mr di Stefano on board would help if Swag's fight against the proposal for 27 turbines on a site near Edinbane goes to court.

He said: "No-one wants to go to court unless they have to."

Mr di Stefano described the group's fight against a proposed wind farm at Edinbane as a "David and Goliath case".

Speaking from Rome, he said: "It is not a normal case I would take up, I'm a criminal lawyer, but I cannot stand to see big boys going up against minnows there."

'Meaningful support'

David Hodkinson, managing director of Amec's wind energy business, said he was confident the wind farm would be an "asset".

He added that the company was prepared to fight its corner if the issue goes to court.

Mr Hodkinson said: "We are confident from the feedback we receive that the Edinbane wind farm presents a positive balance of environmental and economic benefits and that it is seen as an asset by the majority of the local community."

He added: "We see Swag's move as a clear sign that, despite years of campaigning within their own village, they have failed to build any meaningful local support for their objection to our proposals.

"We are alert to the possibility of Swag taking legal action and are prepared to fight our corner should the need arise."

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30 May 05 |  Scotland
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Anger over Di Stefano comments
15 Jan 04 |  Scotland

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