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Italy investigates Maltese prof implicated in Russia probe

ROME - Prosecutors in Sicily are investigating suspected embezzlement by a mysterious Maltese academic who has been linked to a U.S. probe of hacked emails.

Agrigento Prosecutor Salvatore Vella said by telephone Monday that his office is investigating Joseph Mifsud for suspected embezzlement of at least 100,000 euros ($110,000) in connection with his role at a local public university.

Mifsud apparently disappeared in 2017. Vella says his office, which needs to formally notify the professor that he is under investigation, hasn’t been able so far to locate him.

U.S. prosecutors have alleged that a campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump had learned from Mifsud about stolen emails that figured in the FBI’s probe into alleged hacking by Russia.

Last year, in a separate probe in Sicily, a Palermo-based auditors’ court ordered Mifsud to return nearly 50,000 euros in over payments in connection with his university role.
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