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News 02 Nov 17

Key Figure in Trump-Moscow Claims Taught in Croatia

Joseph Mifsud, a central figure in the alleged connections between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin, once taught at a private university in Dubrovnik in Croatia.

Sven Milekic
BIRN
Zagreb
Joseph Mifsud. Photo: Beta

Joseph Mifsud, mentioned as a central figure in the alleged links between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, once taught at a private university in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik.

The Croatian daily Vecernji list reported on Thursday that the Maltese professor taught classes on public diplomacy at the Libertas International University in Dubrovnik in recent years.

He also took part in diplomatic forums in 2010 and 2012 organised by the Diplomatic Academy within the Croatian Foreign Ministry – an institution tasked with providing diplomatic education for diplomats and public officials.

Dusko Pavlovic, the rector at Libertas, told Vecernji that he had no idea that “Mifsud is connected with Donald Trump’s campaign”, adding that he had not taught in Dubrovnik this academic year.

The English language business college was initially founded by Miomir Zuzul, a former Croatian Foreign Minister and ambassador to the US.

Mifsud, a director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, which no longer appears to exist, is allegedly connected with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy consultant in Trump’s campaign and the first person to be indicted over links between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.

The charges against Papadopoulos are the first to be brought by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating alleged links between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The linked court records from the investigation, say Papadopoulos allegedly referred to Mifsud, though not mentioning him by name, as having offered to provide Russian-supplied “dirt”, in the form of “thousands of emails”, about Trump’s Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos allegedly met Mifsud in London in 2016, when the latter came to a meeting with an unidentified female Russian national, whom he then falsely introduced as Russian President Vladimir Putin's neice.

Mifsud confirmed to Britain's daily Telegraph on Tuesday that he was indeed the professor Papadopoulos referred to but has repeatedly denied all connections with the Russian government. “I am an academic, and I don’t even speak Russian,” Mifsud told the media.

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