How far can a man (or lady) go to make money or steal ? If you are in Kenya….. Open a church (anoint yourself and apostle or bishop to drive the point home) and start praying for the sick, preaching the gospel of prosperity and dishing out an Mpesa number? Become a pick-pocket? Become a mganga mashuhuri with the ability to search and trace lost people? vie for a political office and fight to determine your own pay ? go to school, study smart, pass with good grades join a university –then get employed. All the above are feasible in today’s Kenya.
But none beats the ingenuity and bravery of one Giovanni Di Stefano, derisively termed as the “Devils Advocate” a former Dundee FC director and a lawyer of international repute who has represented the high and mighty of this world. He couldn’t rule out representing Adolf Hitler or satan on the basis that satan has never been heard, he has been condemned unheard which is against the basic tenets of natural justice! This is a man who has managed to swindle several “desperate and vulnerable victims” purporting to be a Cambridge University educated “avvocato” in simple terms, those fellows who refer to each other as learned friends. It was submitted to the court that he employed the use of the Italian word “avvocato” on business cards, letterheads and identification documents to give clients – and the judiciary – the impression he was an advocate, when in essence he was just but a bright quack. In the course of his long running career, he has claimed to have represented the who-is-who of the criminal and political empires. Among those he had their hands of friendship were Patrick ‘Dutchy’ Holland, Dr. Harold Wickman, the Serbian warlod Arkan, Robert Mugabe, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Slobadan Milosevic.
The man lined his pockets enjoying his holidays in villa in Majorca, Spain while his clients suffered, among them a disabled man seeking damages for the loss of an arm, while he prospered undeterred. How he was even allowed to practice without even raising eyebrows amazes me. He was so brazen – and still is if his tweets behind the walls of prison are anything to go by- even managed to overturn convictions, and secured release from prison of people. His forty days as a “lawyer” expired and he was charged with and convicted on 25 charges including deception, fraud, forgery and money laundering between 2001 and 2011. He will be taken care of by Her Majesty’s government for the next 14 years.
To be a successful lawyer, you must be capable of thinking on your feet, an innovative and critical thinker with strong analytical skills. All this are qualities that Giovanni Di Stefano possesses which made his profession even easier and if you throw in his honorary PHD in Law from the University of Belgrade facilitated by his buddy Milosevic, he is good to go (plus with his politician’s side and lying tongue he was fit and proper). I know that I posses many positive qualities, and my silver tongue rarely fails me. In these harsh economic times, I am really getting ideas!