Stirling academic 'set up Russia meetings with Trump aide'
Professor Joseph Mifsud has been named as the contact between both sides.
A Stirling University academic has been named as the individual alleged to have set up meetings between a Donald Trump campaign official and Russian officials.
The Washington Post reports Professor Joseph Mifsud is the unnamed academic mentioned throughout a US department of justice indictment against George Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.
Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged collusion between the campaign and the Russian government, alleges Mifsud and Papadopoulos met a number of times during the campaign and at one meeting stated the Russians had "dirt" on Hilary Clinton.
Prof Mifsud is also alleged to have set up a line of communication between Papadopoulos and the Russian foreign ministry.
On Monday, it emerged Mr Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to providing false testimony to FBI agents surrounding his communications with the professor and various Russian contacts.
Two other individuals, Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, were charged by the FBI for alleged crimes including to conspire against the United States.
A spokesperson for Stirling University confirmed Prof Mifsud, who is originally from Malta, has been "a full-time professorial teaching fellow in the university's politics department since May 2017".
When contacted by the Washington Post in August, Prof Mifsud stated he had "absolutely no contact with the Russian government".
In April last year, Prof Mifsud appeared alongside former SNP MP Sir George Reid, who is also a professorial fellow at Stirling, to host a talk on the European migrant crisis.
Sir George told STV News he believes the Maltese academic is only on campus "two or three days a year" and has a "general interest in diplomacy".
Prof Mifsud has been contacted for comment by STV News.
Prof Mifsud addressed an academic conference in Moscow last year.
The academic raised the issue of sanctions placed on Russia by the European Union, describing the diplomatic move as a "huge trap" the organisation had walked into.
He joked later in the event that he did not know if the discussions were under Chatham House rules, meaning what he said cannot be reported, but the event was being live streamed on YouTube.
The professor told a panel: "Leaders of states do not want to tell the truth to their citizens."
Adding later: "The media is doing its best to break any sort of changes within the EU, any sort of changes within the approaches for example to the Russia Federation but is it succeeding?
"This is the question I put on the table. I personally do not believe it is."