Royal hoax call charges considered

RAPHAEL SATTER
Last updated 06:17 23/12/2012
Jacintha Saldanha
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SAD END: Jacintha Saldanha was found dead in her London apartment following the hoax phone call about the royal baby.

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Prosecutors are deciding whether to press charges over a royal hoax call that preceded a nurse's apparent suicide, British police say.

Two Australian DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and her son, Prince Charles, as they phoned London's King Edward VII hospital in the early hours of December 4 to ask about the condition of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who had been hospitalised there after suffering from acute morning sickness.

The DJs' shaky upper-crust accents were apparently enough to fool 46-year-old nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who put them through to a colleague who in turn described the details of the duchess's condition.

The call - complete with the DJs' laughter - went viral and was broadcast the world over. But the incident took a darker turn after Saldanha's body was found hanging in her room three days after the prank.

The DJs, 2DayFM's Mel Greig and Michael Christian, apologised for the prank in emotional interviews on Australian television, saying they never expected their call would be put through.

The show was taken off the air and the DJs have been suspended.

In a statement on Saturday (Sunday, NZ time), London's Metropolitan Police said they had submitted a file to Britain's Crown Prosecution Service "to consider whether any potential offenses may have been committed by making the hoax call".

It is not clear what charges, if any, prosecutors were considering.

The police said they would be making no further comment.

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- AP

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