A Stirling University professor who told the Trump campaign that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton had links to the Kremlin’s notorious troll factory, it has emerged

Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud hit the headlines in 2017 after it was first alleged he had tipped off a Republican staffer , George Papadopoulos, about hacked emails which compromised the Democratic candidate.

A teaching fellow in Scotland until November 2017, Mr Mifsud has preciously insisted he has a clear conscience. His current whereabouts are unknown. Mr Papadopoulos was jailed for misleading the FBI about his contacts.

Now, however, it has emerged he had connections with an employee of the Internet Research Agency, or IRA, the private company run by an ally of Vladimir Putin which American authorities say created and ran fake partisan accounts ahead of the 2016 elections.

READ MORE: Did a Stirling professor play matchmaker to Trump and Putin?

His links to the IRA are cited in the full but redacted report of independent prosecutor Robert Mueller, which was published this week. The report said: “Among his contacts was a one-time employee of the IRA , the entity that carried out the Russian social media campaign.”

The section of the Mueller report dealing with Mr Mifsud is one of those where sections have been blanked out. It concerns the hacking of the Democratic National Committee or DNC by Russian military intelligence, GRU, and subsequent publication of embarrassingly emails.

READ MORE: Scottish university Professor at the centre of Trump 'Russian dirt' row resigns

Mr Mifsud was said to have multiple Russian contacts. These also include, according to the report, “an employee of the Russian MoD, and that account had overlapping contacts with a group of Russian military-controlled Facebook accounts that included accounts used to promote the DCLeaks releases in the course of GRU’s hack-and-release operations”.

The Mueller report said Mr Mifsud made false statements when was interviewed by investigators in Washington in 2017 but that Mr Papadopoulus’s own misrepresentations made it hard for them to challege the Maltese.

It also said he may have been in a personal relationship with a Russian woman linked to the Kremlin who he called “baby”

It added: “Mifsud denied that he had advance knowledge that Russia was in possession of emails damaging to candidate Clinton, stating that he and Papadopoulos had discussed cybersecurity and hacking as a larger issue and that Papadopoulos must have misunderstood their conversation.”

Twelve GRU officers have been charged with the DNC hack.