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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Named In Panama Papers

The former merchant banker showed up in the leaked documents relating to business activities from 1993, according to the Australian Financial Review.

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Malcolm Turnbull has been named in the controversial Panama papers document leak in relation to business activities around a Siberian gold mine.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

According to the Australian Financial Review, Turnbull's name showed up as the former director of a company set up by law firm Mossack Fonseca to develop a $20 million Siberian gold mine back in 1993.

Despite the damaging link to the papers, the AFR report states, "there is no suggestion (Turnbull) had acted improperly".

The revelation came on Thursday morning on day four of a close fought election campaign. It was left to Cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos - himself under a cloud relating to activities with political donations - to respond on ABC radio.

"Can you hear that noise behind me? That's the noise of a dead horse being flogged," said Sinodinos. "This is a 20-year-old matter."

Before coming into politics, Turnbull was a well known merchant banker with business partner, former NSW premier Neville Wran.

He's not the first world leader to be linked to the Panama papers - Iceland's prime minister was forced to step down after being implicated, while UK prime minister David Cameron released his tax records when his father's business activities showed up in the document leak.

Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek told ABC News Breakfast that Turnbull has some "sharp questions" to answer about the report.

"Our PM clearly has questions to answer, we've got the British PM David Cameron who stands up and does full interviews about his father's economic arrangements but we've got a PM who now seems to have some very sharp questions to answer," she said.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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