Inquest into nurse's death resuming

JULIAN DRAPE
Last updated 14:28 24/03/2013
Jacintha Saldanha
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TRAGIC END: Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was the victim of a prank call from two Australian radio hosts.

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The family of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha remains hopeful an inquest which resumes this week will unravel the events that led to her death days after a prank call from two Australian DJs.

The 46-year-old mother of two in December answered a call from 2Day FM’s Mel Greig and Michael Christian posing as the Queen and Prince Charles.

The radio hosts were transferred and subsequently given an update on the condition of Prince William’s pregnant wife Catherine.

British MP Keith Vaz, who has been representing Saldanha’s family, says three months after the Indian-born nurse committed suicide there remain a number of unanswered questions.

Vaz has said he’s astonished the prestigious King Edward VII hospital had a nurse rather than a trained operator answering calls at reception.

‘‘The family remain hopeful the inquest and investigating will provide the answers they seek,’’ the MP said in a statement.

Vaz said the hospital had told him its own internal inquiry was expected to be completed after the inquest which reopens at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Tuesday.

The Labour MP has also written to Austereo in Australia which he noted remained ‘‘subject to an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority’’.

Saldanha’s family will be represented at the inquest by John Cooper QC.

He’s been acting pro bono and earlier this month hit out at a decision to deny the bereaved family legal aid for the inquest.

‘‘The family believe there are questions to be asked about the hospital protocols that led to Mrs Saldanha being put in that job on that night,’’ Cooper told the Independent newspaper.

Prosecutors in early February announced they would not bring charges against Greig and Christian over the hoax call because there was ‘‘no evidence’’ to support a charge of manslaughter.

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- AAP

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