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Fed: Turnbull denies giving fake email to newspaper

22 Jun 2009 8:42 PM

CANBERRA, June 22 AAP - Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull denies giving a fake email at the centre of the OzCar affair to a newspaper, and suggests someone in Treasury could be the culprit.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday it had an email suggesting Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's office had made representations on behalf of his friend and Queensland car dealer, John Grant, in an effort to help the car dealer gain access to a taxpayer-funded finance scheme.

The Australian Federal Police said on Monday the email was a forgery, following a search of Treasury official Godwin Grech's home.

Mr Turnbull said the opposition could not be held responsible if the fake email came from a person in Treasury, suggesting Treasurer Wayne Swan should be reprimanded if that was the case.

"I cannot be held responsible for an email that was concocted, if it was concocted, by somebody else," Mr Turnbull told ABC Television.

"If the email was concocted in the Treasury, then Mr Swan should be answering for it."

Mr Turnbull said no one in the opposition had provided a copy of the fake email to the newspaper.

"I can tell you categorically that nobody in the opposition provided the text of that email to Mr (Steve) Lewis," he said.

He also refuted Mr Rudd's assertions the opposition had said he was corrupt.

"I've never accused him of corruption, I've never used that word."

Mr Rudd said he knew the email was fake as early as Friday night.

"You should know that here in Canberra, the corridors of power and the media talk a lot ... this has been one of the worst kept secrets ... over the last couple of weeks," he told ABC Television.