21 Jun 2009

Australian police probe 'favour for mate' claims

10:48 am on 21 June 2009

The Australian government has ordered police to investigate whether someone impersonated one of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's senior economic advisers, who's accused of emailing a Treasury official on behalf of a friend of the premier.

Mr Rudd has denied that he, or his office, made representations on behalf of car dealer John Grant, a friend and Queensland neighbour, who was seeking Government funding under the OzCar vehicle financing scheme.

The opposition and some newspapers say they have seen the contents of an email from Mr Rudd's adviser, Andrew Charlton, to the head of the OzCar agency but no one has produced a hard copy yet.

Mr Rudd says he believes the emails are fake and has suggested the opposition Liberal Party is behind the email. He says it is time for leader Malcolm Turnbull to 'put up or shut up'.

Mr Turnbull admits he doesn't have an actual copy of the email, but insists the Liberal Party did not falsify it.