Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese ‘professor’ formerly based in London and embroiled in the US investigation into Russian collusion in the election that saw Donald Trump rise to power, is still missing and may be dead, a US court was told.
Mifsud, 57, was named in a US lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee [DNC] which is suing Russia, the Trump campaign and Wikileaks for interfering in the 2016 election.
Mifsud held meetings with George Papadopoulos, 31, a former Trump adviser who had been jailed for lying to investigators about his contacts with individuals linked to Russia.
Papadopoulos’ comments prevented the FBI from detaining the enigmatic Maltese ‘professor’ when he was traveling in the United States in 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller had said in a memo to a federal judge.
Mueller was appointed a year ago to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
Mifsud’s name emerged in the charges against Papadopoulos, who claimed that the Maltese former diplomat told him in 2014 that the Russians were in possession of “compromising material” regarding presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
It was Papadopoulos‘ description of his interaction with Mifsud to an Australian diplomat that ultimately led the FBI to open the Russia investigation in July 2016.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to the special counsel’s team, becoming the first person to admit guilt to Mueller’s federal prosecutors.
According to his plea agreement, he admitted to lying about the timing of his contacts with Mifsud in London.
He told investigators that Mifsud had informed him that he had “substantial connections to Russian government officials” and he had promised “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails” obtained by the Russian government.
But Mueller had said Papadopoulos had repeatedly denied that any interaction with the ‘professor’ before to joining the campaign team.
Papadopoulos “repeatedly lied throughout the interview in order to conceal the timing and significance of information the defendant had received regarding the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton, as well as his own outreach to Russia on behalf of the campaign.” His false statements were intended “to harm the investigation, and did so.”
Mifsud has gone under the radar for almost a year now with with a Ukrainian woman saying she hasn’t heard from him since news on his links to Russia broke in October 2017.
Mifsud deserves the ‘Mystery Professor’ monicker as his present whereabouts are as shady as his past. While it is unknown how he acquired a professorship, with the University of Malta denying it awarded him such a title, Mifsud was investigated by the same university over alleged financial irregularities. However, Mifsud resigned from his university post before his employment was terminated.
The DNC said in its court documents that he was the only defendant who had not been served with the complaint because he was “missing and may be deceased,” The Times of London reported.
Yet Mifsud’s close associate Stephan Roh, a lawyer based in Zurich, said Mifsud was safe but in hiding.