Di LAST STRAW; Dundee FC Boss Says Hitler `Innocent' - Giovanni Shows off Saddam Thrones

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), December 28, 2003 | Go to article overview

Di LAST STRAW; Dundee FC Boss Says Hitler `Innocent' - Giovanni Shows off Saddam Thrones


Byline: By RUSSELL FINDLAY

MILLIONAIRE lawyer Giovanni di Stefano has sparked fury by claiming there is no evidence to convict Hitler of war crimes. Leading Jewish groups say his comments echo those made by Nazis who deny the Holocaust happened.

Di Stefano, 48, makes the remarks in an explosive BBC documentary, Devil's Advocate, which charts his connections with gangsters, serial killers and dictators.

He brags about his close friendship with Saddam Hussein and shows off an elaborate blue and gilt throne given to him by the former Iraqi leader, whom he calls ``a nice guy.''

Asked if he would have defended Hitler on charges of murdering millions of Jews, di Stefano says: ``We need to understand one thing about Mr Hitler. Not a single document has ever been found a signature, acknowledgement, memo or anything which would connect Adolf Hitler with these heinous crimes.

``So on that basis, if we had to work within the law, then he would not only be acquitted but they would not even be able to sustain a charge.

``Whether we like it or not, they are the facts.

``So why don't we now have a trial of Adolf Hitler? Let's have the trial and let's have it within the proper standards of law. Let's find out because they're scared.''

Last night, di Stefano's opinions were met with fury from leading Jewish groups, who said he was not fit to be connected to a leading football club.

Ephraim Borowski, of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, said: ``All he's doing is apeing the wellknown opinions of Holocaust deniers.

``It flies in the face of reason to deny that millions of Jews and others were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime.''

Dundee East SNP list MSP Shona Robison said: ``These comments are inappropriate, alarming and only add to the concerns that already exist.''

Di Stefano is battling the SFA to become a director of Dundee FC.

He claims to have a fortune of pounds 450 million but frustrated fans have seen no evidence of any of his promised millions to save the club, which is in administration.

He has done legal work for rogue landlord Nicholas van Hoogstraten, gangster Kenneth Noye, serial killer Dr Harold Shipman and timeshare fraudster John `Goldfinger' Palmer.

But he refuses to say where he studied law. He says: ``I'm a qualified lawyer. If they want to think I'm not, let them think I'm not.

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