Former UEA professor Joseph Mifsud is widely believed to be missing following further developments in an FBI investigation into Russian collusion during the 2016 US Election.

The academic was named last October as President Donald Trump adviser George Papadopoulos’s foreign contact to the Russian government.

Little is known about how Mifsud became a Professor after attaining his PhD, nor how he emerged in the world of diplomacy as one of the West’s key links to Putin. What is known is that Mifsud held an honorary professorship at UEA from August 2013 to July 2016, after being made Chair of the London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD), an institution that served as part of INTO-UEA London until its closure in 2014.

But, as of this month, Mifsud’s academic profiles have been removed from the majority of universities he has associated with, most recently pages documenting his present positions at both the University of Stirling and Link Campus University Rome. Papadopoulos claimed Mifsud approached him in April 2016 whilst the pair were both based in London, offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton via the Kremlin in the form of “thousands of emails”.

They met several times following this encounter, leading to a pursuit of Papadopoulos by the FBI following evidence that he had lied about having met with Mifsud.

He is reported to have boasted of having a “good friend” with Russian contacts to fellow advisers in the campaign. Papadopoulos is yet to be sentenced, but could face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.

When approached for comment on UEA’s appointment of Mifsud, a University spokesperson said: “Honorary appointments are made to those of academic standing who have a teaching or research role at UEA, but who are not members of University staff.

“Honorary appointments come to an end when the person ends their association with the University.”

The spokesperson also stated that Mifsud was appointed as a Honourary Professor following “due process”, and that during his time as Chairman of the LAD, “overall recruitment was strong” and student satisfaction levels were “extremely high”.

Mifsud was last seen meeting with numerous figures in British politics late last year, including at a dinner with Boris Johnson where they reportedly discussed Brexit together.

Nothing is known of his movements from December onwards.