Mon, Dec 24, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Australian DJs could face charges over deadly prank

AFP, LONDON

British prosecutors will decide whether to pursue charges against two Australian DJs, police said on Saturday, after a nurse who took a hoax call to a hospital treating Prince William’s pregnant wife, Catherine, apparently killed herself.

Scotland Yard said officers last week sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over the prank earlier this month by presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, from Sydney’s 2Day FM radio station.

Indian-born nurse Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found hanged in her lodgings near King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London, where Catherine was being treated for acute morning sickness, on Dec. 7.

“Following the death of Jacintha Saldanha, officers have liaised with the CPS as to whether any criminal offenses had been committed in relation to the hoax call made to King Edward VII’s Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday, Dec. 4,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.

It said officers submitted a file to the CPS on Wednesday for it to consider whether any potential offenses may have been committed by making the hoax call.

British media said no announcement had been made until Saturday because police wanted to be sure they had contacted all the relevant family members of Saldanha.

In England and Wales, the CPS is responsible for deciding whether charges will proceed in criminal cases, while police are responsible for investigating and collecting evidence.

At the nurse’s funeral in India on Monday, her widower, Benedict Barboza, and the couple’s two teenage children said British police were investigating the tragedy “and they have assured us of a full and fair investigation.”

A London inquest heard last week that Saldanha had been found hanged in staff accommodation and there were no suspicious circumstances over her death. She also had marks on her wrist.

Saldanha left three notes, one of which reportedly criticized colleagues over her treatment at the hospital.

British detectives told the inquest they would be asking their counterparts in the Australian state of New South Wales to help them carry out interviews.

It was not immediately clear how British prosecutors could pursue foreigners for a possible offense that originated outside Britain.

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