No charges to be filed over Aussie/UK royal hoax call


UK prosecutors said 2/1 that the two Australian radio hosts who made a prank call to the hospital treating Prince William’s pregnant wife Kate would not face  criminal charges over the death of the nurse who answered the phone and later killed herself.

“We have concluded that there is no evidence to support a charge of manslaughter,” Reuters reported Malcolm McHaffie, Deputy Head of Special Crime at Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service as saying.

Jacintha Saldanha was found hanged last December in her hospital lodgings in London, days after she answered the hoax call from DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian from Southern Cross Austereo’s 2Day FM in Sydney.

As part of the ruse, the duo had pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and William’s father, heir to the throne Prince Charles.

Saldanha put the call through to a colleague who disclosed details of the Duchess of Cambridge’s condition during treatment for an extreme form of morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy.

The story was reported across the globe and Saldanha’s subsequent death provoked anger and outrage. British Prime Minister David Cameron called it a tragedy and police launched an investigation to see if any offenses had been committed.

Other possible charges under the Data Protection Act, the Malicious Communications Act and the Communications Act would also not be in the public interest McHaffie said, adding it was not possible to extradite individuals from Australia over offenses these laws covered: “However misguided, the telephone call was intended as a harmless prank,” he said.

2DayFM cancelled their show, which had been off the air since the incident, but said the DJs had were expected back on air although no date for their return was given.

See the Reuters story here