Kate hoax call: Nurse’s family struggles to understand non-prosecution of DJs
Sydney: The family of the Indian-origin nurse, who committed suicide following a hoax call about the Duchess of Cambridge by two Australian DJs, is struggling to come to terms with the fact that the DJs will not be prosecuted.
Labeling the hoax calls as ‘misguided but harmless pranks’, the Crown Prosecution Service has said that there is no evidence to support a manslaughter charge against 2Day FM announcers Mel Greig and Michael Christian for the offending call to the nurse Jacintha Saldanha, News.com.au reports.
Supporting the grieving family, Indian community leader and Labour MP Keith Vaz has said that Saldanha’s family is struggling to come to terms with the decision not to prosecute, and are waiting for the inquest due late March. Vaz also said that Saldanha’s employers at the hospital have still not given any information about the phone call and other matters.
However, Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of special crime at the Crown Prosecution Service, said that any potential prosecution of the DJs would not be in the public interest, although he added that there is some evidence for further investigation under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Communications Act 2003.
McHaffie also said that prosecutors had taken into account that it is not possible to extradite people from Australia on the potential offences in question. Saldanha was the duty nurse when the two DJs called King Edward VII hospital, where she worked, pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, asking about the Duchess's condition.
She forwarded the call to another nurse, who divulged private medical information about the Duchess. The prank was broadcast by 2Day FM within hours, and made headlines around the world. Saldanha was found dead in the nurses' quarters just three days later, having committed suicide by hanging herself with a scarf.