UPDATE: George Papadopolous responded to the reports that Italian prosecutors in Agrigento, Sicily believe the Maltese Professor Joseph Mifsud is dead.
“Lil Joey Mifsud is not sleeping with the fishes,” Tweeted Papadopolous. “More to come.”
Lil Joey Mifsud is not sleeping with the fishes. More to come.— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) December 20, 2019
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What happened to Joseph Mifsud? It is the biggest mystery surrounding the man that allegedly began the FBI’s probe into President Donald Trump’s campaign and the now debunked theory that campaign officials conspired with Russia in the 2016 election.
A new story out of Italy suggests that an infamous audio file allegedly sent by Mifsud to two Italian papers is believed to be fake, according to reporters who had it analyzed by one of Italy’s top forensic experts. The audio file is not the same deposition audio file that is in the possession of the Department of Justice and the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which Mifsud allegedly describes the work he was doing and why he targeted George Papadopoulos. The last anyone has heard from Mifsud was the Spring of 2018.
Department of Justice officials declined to comment to SaraACarter.com on the ongoing investigation or Mifsud.
However, a detailed story by the reputable and well known Italian news outlet Il Giornale, Italian journalists Roberto Vivaldelli and Mauro Indelicato, suggest that sources within the Agrigento Public Prosecution office, who brought charges on Mifsud in another criminal matter associated with his work at a public university in Italy, believe he is dead. Their story is published in English at Il Giornale’s blog site Inside Over.
Sources interviewed from the Italian prosecutors office, told the journalists that they believe there is an “80 percent” chance that Mifsud is no longer alive.
I spoke to Roberto Vivaldelli Friday, and he affirmed that the newest details regarding Mifsud came as a result of their investigation into Mifsud’s time as president of a university in the southern Italian city of Agrigento, Sicily. Currently, prosecutor’s in Agriengento, Sicily are investigating Mifsud’s alleged misuse of university finances and unexplained expenses.
“Mifsud is under investigation for his management of the university and for some crazy expenses,” Vivaldelli told me.
“From the information we have gathered, the Italian prosecutors are convinced that the professor is most likely not alive.”
Vivaldelli said a person sent an audio file to the offices of two Italian newspapers last November 11, “but according to an expert we consulted this audio is fake. I personally think it’s incredible that no one knows where Mifsud is, alive or dead.”
According to Vivaldelli the sources at the Agrigento prosecutors office did not divulge details as to why they believe he’s dead.
What we do know is that Attorney General William Barr and Connecticut prosecutor John Durham have opened a criminal investigation into the matter. Mifsud, the Maltese professor, who befriended former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopolous and informed him that the Russians had obtained Hillary Clinton’s missing emails is at the center of the controversy.
If anyone has answers into what really happened with the FBI’s investigation it would be him. It was allegedly Mifsud’s tipoff about the Russians having Clinton’s emails that was the beginning of the investigation. The former FBI officials stated that it was when Papadopolous discussed what he had been told by Mifsud with Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer that the counterintelligence investigation began. They bureau agents claimed it was the pretext to opening the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the campaign on July, 2016.
But now we know different and there is enough information surfacing to suspect that Mifsud did not have ties to Russia but was a western intelligence asset, as suggested by his attorney Stephan Roh, in an article written by John Solomon.
Whether, Mifsud is in hiding for his own safety is not known. Why the Italian prosecutors believe he is dead has not been explained, but the work done by these two Italian journalists is very thorough. It’s another piece of the puzzle in understanding the mysterious Mifsud – what role he played and what may of actually happened to him.
In the city of temples it seems that everybody has now dumped him. In Agrigento, where the Maltese professor was president of the local university consortium, a full-blown race is on to take the most distance from him. The reference is to Joseph Mifsud, a key figure in Russiagate, who has been missing since October 2017.
Nobody knew anything
Mifsud arrived in Agrigento in April 2010 and was presented at the seat of the provincial government as the new president of the University Consortium. At the time the province was the largest shareholder in the body so a substantial number of the political decisions depended on what today the Region of Sicily knows as the “free consortium of municipalities”. The promotor of his appointment to the Agrigento university consortium was Eugenio D’Orsi, President of the Province from 2008 until 2013, the last before the body was wound up by Rosario Crocetta. “Mifsud – D’Orsi explained in the last few days – had given hope to Agrigento. He was a brilliant person, with unlimited knowledge and we wanted to bring Sicily to the world. The lecturer put me in touch with Malta, and we were about to build the airport thanks to that. That was the best side of him”.
Then, according to the former president of the province, something changed: “In the second part of the experience with him he was, and I will say this bluntly, a charlatan”, D’Orsi said in the interview mentioned above. The same former President then confirmed that the decision to select Mifsud was at the time backed by all the shareholders of the consortium, in other words also by the city council of Agrigento, the Chamber of Commerce and the University di Palermo. But today, as mentioned above, there is a race to dump the Maltese professor first. The city council of Agrigento has, through the current mayor, Lillo Firetto, in the last few days announced that the body has entered a civil claim in the proceeding brought by the Public Prosecution Office of Agrigento in relation to the “crazy expenses” incurred by Mifsud during his presidency.
The proceeding was brought after complaints had been submitted by Giovanni Di Maida, the current commissioner of the university consortium but at the time already a member of the board of directors. He also said he did not notice anything and that he heard Mifsud explaining that he made his trips abroad in order to enter into agreements with other foreign universities. These agreements were never concluded, Di Maida is at pains to point out. As, however, pointed out by Felice Cavallaro in Corriere Della Sera, “perhaps Di Maida, who was on the board of directors with professors Maria Immordino and Gianfranco Tuzzolino, could also have had some concerns a few years ago”. Like the other people involved, however, it was only recently that he noticed the “crazy expenses”: “Everything went through two functionaries of the Consortium who said nothing, a lady who is now retired and an office worker whom they had transferred from nearby Licata”, Di Maida explained.
In a nutshell, in Agrigento nobody had noticed anything or at least that is the explanation of the people involved. Gaps in the financial statements, strange telephone calls, suspicious trips and lengthy absences from Agrigento are the items of evidence that have only now emerged, just when Mifsud’s name is no longer confined to the local news. And it is only now, from a political point of view, that everybody in the city has begun to take a distance from the Maltese professor.
The suspicion harboured by the Public Prosecution Office
There is, however, another aspect that is destined to cast a larger shadow on the matter. It was the public prosecutors of Agrigento that brought proceedings against Mifsud, guilty of putting the university consortium into the red. Perhaps somebody helped the Maltese professor to cause the financial disaster. The public prosecution office would also like to find out about this in its investigation. The problem, however, and this is the thing that stands out most at the moment, is that Mifsud cannot be traced. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, there has been no trace of him since 2017, in other words for more than two years: “The Agrigento Public Prosecution Office has activated the procedures for the service of process but they are very complex because, amongst other things, the suspects are people who may no longer be alive”, according to a report by the Italian news agency AGI a few days ago.
But even more well-founded suspicions have been leaked from the Public Prosecution Office in the last few hours. There are growing rumours that the Agrigento Public Prosecution Service are now almost certain that the person they are investigating will in future have no chance to defend himself either in a court of law or at a political level: “It is highly likely that Mifsud is dead”, a source at the Agrigento Palace of Justice has confirmed. “We are talking an 80% possibility”.
The suspicion about the fate of Mifsud
There is further evidence that leads us to speculate that Joseph Mifsud may – and the use of the conditional is of course obligatory – no longer be alive, just to return to the rumours just mentioned. Even if it is obvious that we hope that this will not prove the case. We are talking about the mysterious audio file sent to the editors of Adnkronos and Il Corriere della Sera: “I hope you will make my words known, please listen to the attached files”, says the voice of a person who describes himself as Joseph Mifsud and who, on 11 November 2019, made those statements.
However, an expert – one of the best qualified in Italy – whom we had listen to the audio files is in no doubt: the voice is not that of the professor. “I am convinced that the audio file is fake and the person is not Professor Joseph Mifsud“. That is the view of the expert in forensic sciences, one of the most important in Italy working in the field, whom Inside Over contacted through Cristina Sartori, a court registered handwriting expert at the Court of Trento. The expert compared the audio file sent by the supposed Mifsud to the press agency Adnkronos and to Corriere della Sera, with two videos on Youtube in which the lecturer is heard speaking.
The analysis by the expert that we contacted is extremely interesting: “It was recorded with a microphone attached to the collar in a very large space, connected directly to the computer, there is a lot of echo”, she explained to InsideOver. “In the audio file sent to the Italian newspapers – she comments – you can also hear the voice of a woman towards the end who says 22”. The person in the audio message, she continues, “does not have the same intonation as the true Mifsud in the videos, who dragged his vowels because of his breathing. This thing is never in the audio file and I am quite convinced it is fake”. His lawyer, Stephan Roh, had also denied, in comments made to Adnkronos, that the person who made the audio message was the Maltese lecturer: “It is absolutely fake, 100 per cent”. Roh said: “The voice is too high, it is not his accent, not his tone, he seems like a true Italian”.
At this point, assuming that the handwriting expert is actually right (as we believe), the question must be asked: why would someone have made a fake audio message? There are two possibilities: either the Maltese lecturer is still in hiding – who knows where – or, in the worst case scenario, we are talking about a person who is possibly no longer alive. The last person who saw him in Rome told Panorama that “Joe has a nice apartment in Parioli, I last saw him there. It was March 2018”, the source explained. “That [Joseph Mifsud] disappeared in 2017 I read in the newspapers. I saw him again for the last time in Parioli, close to Piazza Euclide, where Joe had a nice apartment”. And then?