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No charges over royal hoax call
No charges will be brought over a prank call to a hospital about the Duchess of Cambridge, which was taken by a nurse who later took her own life, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced.
Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian made the hoax call to the King Edward VII's hospital in central London, posing as the Queen and Prince of Wales when Kate was being treated for a rare form of pregnancy sickness.
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who transferred them to a colleague who then described Kate's condition in detail, was found hanged a few days after the incident, sparking a backlash against the 2Day FM DJs.
Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of special crime at the CPS, said there was no evidence to support a manslaughter charge and any potential prosecution would not be in the public interest.
He said: "As is well known, on December 4 2012 Mel Greig and Michael Christian, both radio presenters in Australia, made a telephone call to the King Edward VII's Hospital in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge was receiving treatment, in which they pretended to be members of the Royal Family. Subsequently, Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse at the hospital who had initially taken the call but who had not herself passed on the information, tragically took her own life."
He said Scotland Yard provided the CPS with a file of evidence on December 19 and asked advice on whether a prosecution should be brought.
"Having carefully reviewed the evidence currently available, we have concluded that there is no evidence to support a charge of manslaughter and that, although there is some evidence to warrant further investigation of offences under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Communications Act 2003, no further investigation is required because any potential prosecution would not be in the public interest," he said.
Mother-of-two Ms Saldanha was found dead in her nurses' quarters three days after she transferred the call from the DJs to a colleague at London's King Edward VII's Hospital who then described Kate's condition in detail. The 46-year-old, from Bristol, left two notes in her room and had marks on her wrist when her body was discovered on December 7 last year, Westminster Coroner's Court in London heard.
Labour MP Keith Vaz, who has supported Ms Saldanha's family since the death, said they still had many unanswered questions. He said: "I am grateful to the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police for their continuing investigation into Jacintha's death. This is obviously a very complex case.
"The family of Jacintha have been left devastated by her death. They are struggling to come to terms with the events that led to it, especially the hoax call. The family still have many unanswered questions and now await the inquest due to start on March 26."