By Humphrey Carter

THE celebrity Italian lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano, known as the “devil's advocate” for the high profile clients he has represented, was back in police custody in a Palma hospital yesterday and facing extradition to the UK where he is apparently facing 18 charges of alleged wrong doing and a maximum jail term of 75 years.

Di Stefano, who clients have included Saddam Hussein and some of his cohorts as well as serial killer Charles Manson the great train robber Ronnie Biggs and singer Gary Glitter, was arrested at his Majorcan home on Monday night on a City of London Police warrant issued by Westminster magistrates Court.

Only ten days earlier he had returned from Iraq where he had apparently been collecting further evidence for his indictment against Tony Blair arguing that the Iraq war was illegal.

On Monday night, Di Stefano was admited to Son Espases Hospital to undergo surgery for prostrate cancer and on Tuesday, because of his ill heath, the Supreme Court temporarily lifted the arrest order on health grounds. However, yesterday, the Italian was back in police custody at Son Espases Hospital with a member of the National Police guarding his room and squad cars, the hospital. It is understood that as soon as he is deemed fit to travel, he will either be moved to Madrid of directly extradited back to the UK.

Di Stefano's Palma lawyer, Jaime Campaner, made it clear on Wednesday that his client intends to fight extradition and does want to stand trial in the UK.

Di Stefano claims that this is all a conspiracy to silence him because he intends to indict the former British Prime Minister over the Iraq War. 55-year-old Di Stefano said in a statement that the charges against him, which include alleged fraud, robbery and money laundering, are “spurious” and he intends to fight his corner.