Italian prosecutors believe that the hypothesis that Professor Joseph Mifsud, who was implicated in the leaking of Hillary Clinton’s emails to the Trump campaign and accused of being a spy, is dead are 80% true.
A report in December’s edition of Il Giornale says that there has been no trace of Mifsud since 31 October 2017 and now, as highlighted on InsideOver, there might be a tragic this to the story, as the corridors of the Agrigento court are stating that actually Professor Joseph Mifsud may be dead. Sources of the prosecution believe that the hypothesis is “80%” true: “The chances that he died confirmed by the court are very high”.
In December 2019, reports claimed that the passport of Mifsud turned up in a lost and found office in Madeira. The Telegraph reported that his passport and wallet were handed to a lost and found office in Madeira airport in August 2017 and languished there for 17 months, according to BuzzFeed News.
They were found in the coastal town of Câmara de Lobos on the coast of Madeira in August 2017 – three months before Prof Mifsud vanished – and presumably handed in to the authorities.
There are many question marks about the professor’s fate, including a mysterious audio file – sent on 11 November to the editorial staff of Adnkronos and Corriere della Sera by a man who claims to be Mifsud – and that InsideOver did analyze by one of the most qualified forensic disciplines in Italy. “I am convinced that the audio file is a fake and that the person speaking is not Professor Joseph Mifsud”, confirms the expert, who compared the audio file sent to Adnkronos and Corriere della Sera with two videos present on YouTube that immortalize the teacher who passed away in two public lectures. According to the expert, the audio “was recorded with a microphone attached to the collar of the shirt, in a very large environment, connected directly to the computer” and one would hear “the voice of a woman, towards the end, exclaiming a number, maybe 22 ».
Il Giornale says that “Furthermore, the person who claims to be the professor at the center of Russiagate “does not have the same cadence as the real Joseph Mifsud”. The mystery thickens: first of all, if the teacher were still alive, why didn’t he send a video in such a way as to dispel any doubts? Another question mark: if the aforementioned audio file is really a joke, who made it and why? Questions that deserve an answer.”
An Associated Press investigation of Mifsud’s career has uncovered an international trail of mismanagement and financial problems stretching over a decade. It doesn’t answer the key question of whether Mifsud was acting on behalf of Russian interests — wittingly or otherwise — when he allegedly passed the tip to the Trump campaign team, but it does sketch out a bizarre academic career punctuated by scandals and disappearing acts. AP has documented at least three previous efforts by Mifsud to drop out of the public eye after being caught up in controversies. Laris Gaiser, a Slovenian crisis consultant who was brought in to investigate Mifsud’s tenure at the Euro-Mediterranean University, said that going off the grid is Mifsud’s modus operandi. “Disappearing for him is the most perfect way to survive,” Gaiser said.
In 2018 when Mifsud’s name first surfaced in connection with U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Mifsud denied discussing emails with Papadopoulos or having any connection to Russia. It was then when he fell off the map for nearly a year, leading some to speculate he might be dead .
Mifsud’s Swiss-German lawyer, Stephan Roh, has recently assured the AP that Mifsud is alive and has disputed almost all the allegations against him, saying via email that the 58-year-old hadn’t committed any crime and that the claims leveled against him are either old, unsubstantiated or consist of what he described as “defamatory departing music.”
“You forget about many positive things about Prof Mifsud,” Roh said. “My suspicion is that this may be on purpose.” Roh said he had heard about his client through an intermediary he refused to identify and last saw him face-to-face in May. The lawyer’s office had sent the AP a photograph of the Maltese academic, sporting three-day stubble and seated across a signed power of attorney document. The photograph also appears to show a copy of the Democratic National Committee lawsuit against Trump and the Russian government, in which Mifsud is named as a co-defendant, and the May 17 edition of Zurichsee-Zeitung, a Swiss-German newspaper. Metadata embedded in the picture, including geographic coordinates and altitude data, suggest it was taken with an iPhone at Roh’s office in the Swiss city of Zurich on May 21. Roh said he only provided the image to prove he was Mifsud’s attorney and asked the AP not to publish it.
In September 2018 MaltaToday had already reported that “Bloomberg News, Washington Times, The Hill as well as a number of other sources have reported that Mifsud is officially missing and could very well be deceased. The DNC lawyers, however, did not elaborate. The DNC’s counsel has attempted to serve Mifsud for months,” DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. “It has been unable to locate him or contact him. In addition, several public reports have said he has disappeared and hasn’t been seen for months.” The DNC stood by its claim and indicated that an investigator had even been appointed to locate Mifsud and it was told that the Maltese London-based professor might be dead.”
Last year, US Attorney General Barr traveled to Rome request information from the Italian government about Mifsud. Barr met with the heads of Italy’s external and internal intelligence services but did not meet with Mifsud himself, according to the two Italian intelligence sources.
The Intercept reported that Italy has determined that its intelligence services had no connection to a Maltese professor who told a Trump campaign adviser in 2016 that the Russian government had thousands of stolen emails that could damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, according to two senior Italian intelligence sources with knowledge of the matter.
In a series of meetings in Rome over the past two weeks, high-level Italian intelligence officials have repeatedly told cabinet members and a parliamentary oversight committee that the intelligence services did not have a relationship with Joseph Mifsud, a mysterious ex-diplomat who was a professor at a Rome university in 2016, the two sources told The Intercept.