By Humphrey Carter PALMA

OVER the weekend, Giovanni Di Stefano, the international Italian lawyer arrested in Palma last week on a British warrant, exclusively told the Bulletin that he will be issuing a warrant for the arrest of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Spain on charges of crimes against humanity, murder and conspiracy to murder over the coming weeks.

Di Stefano, in a telephone interview from Madrid where he is waiting for the green light to return to the UK to face 18 alleged charges of wrong doing brought by the City of London Police after having accepted to honour the extradition order, told the Bulletin that the charges against him are rubbish and are all part of an attempt to silence him and stop him from indicting Tony Blair over war crimes committed during the Iraq War. “We are having the final of the 100 pages translated into Spanish and, as I have the power of attorney for the former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, will be lodging the application for Blair's arrest in my name. “We can apply for his arrest in Spain because of the Tele 5 Spanish cameraman, Jose Couso, who was killed along with the Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, when a US tank opened fire on the Hotel Palestine in April, 2003,” the lawyer explained. “What is more, ten days ago I presented the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, with further evidence against Blair and this time, instead of saying no, Grieve said he will look at the evidence and think about it,” DI Stefano said suggesting that Blair's day in court could still come.

In fact, yesterday, Di Stefano, who has represented Saddam Hussein; Tariq Aziz; Patrick Holland; Jeremy Bamber; Nicholas van Hoogstraten; John Gilligan; Charles Bronson; Ali Hassan al-Majid (known as Chemical Ali, whose death sentence Di Stefano tried, but failed, to overturn); Gary Glitter and Ian Brady announced that he intends to call Tony Blair as a witness when he stands trial in the UK. “I'm obviously going back to London to clear my name. This is not the first time I've been arrested - when I was representing Slobodan Milosevic, I was held on trumped up charges for over 500 days and during that time, they rushed my client before the Hague for trial. I was simply taken out the equation and that is what they are trying to do now because of the legal action I am taking against Tony Blair. It's deja vu for me. “You ever heard of any one being extradited for having apparently stolen a car? It's all rubbish. And, as a man of principal I can't tell my clients like WikiLeaks' Julian Assange to return to Sweden and face the music and then do the complete opposite. “Also, as an international lawyer, I need to travel and can't afford to have bogus charges hanging around my neck. What is more, I've just had a second operation for prostrate cancer in Palma so I'm not likely to do a runner,” he added. “This happens time and time again in Britain to any one who shows up the system and I'm not having it,” he underlined. “On my return to the United Kingdom ultimately there will be a trial and finally whilst the Prosecution will call whatever witnesses they wish to call I will be calling by subpoena if necessary Mr Tony Blair and examine him on oath finally on his connection with the raising of these charges,” Di Stefano said yesterday. “ I will be calling other politically connected witnesses and a member of the SIS (MI6) and diplomatic staff to ask and enquire of them what role they have played in the raising of these politically motivated allegations. “Finally, one way or another Mr Tony Blair will face questioning from me in court and account not only for what crimes I allege he has committed in Iraq and against the British people but the crime of conspiring to stop me from issuing an arrest warrant against him both in Spain and in the United Kingdom by this absurd prosecution. “The British Police have had many years to deal with a matter of four clients (pressing charges against me) all who lost in the County Court in civil actions but chose to act now, days prior to my issuing an arrest warrant for Tony Blair. “Not only will my day in court come but so will the day when the British people see Mr Blair in the witness stand being examined by me and answering for his actions. “For these reasons I elected to return to the United Kingdom because the allegations that the British Police have accused me of carry a limitation period in Spain and as such I could not have been extradited. But the thought and desire to give all those that Tony Blair has wronged the examination in Court is too strong and worth any suffering I may have to endure during its process. “Finally I will have my chance on behalf of the 1'332'227 Iraqi citizens that have died in Iraq since 2003 and the 179 British soldiers killed to this day. I have notified both the DPP and the AG that I will require Tony Blair's attendance as a witness and will be serving the appropriate subpoenas upon my return,” he said.