Unqualified 'lawyer' whose clients included Saddam Hussein jailed for fraud

A flamboyant but unqualified lawyer whose clients included deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for fraud.

Giovanni Di Stefano was nicknamed "The Devil's Advocate" for speaking on behalf of figures including Saddam, former Iraqi Vice President Tariq Aziz and British train robber Ronnie Biggs.

Prosecutors say he conned clients out of millions of pounds by operating as a lawyer when he had no legal qualifications and was not registered to practice in Britain or Italy, where he had offices.

He was convicted at London's Southwark Crown Court this week of 25 charges, including deception, fraud and money laundering.

Passing sentence Thursday, Judge Alistair McCreath said Di Stefano had caused distress to many people, adding: "Your only concern was to line your own pockets."