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Aussie DJs won't be charged over hoax call

09:22 Sat Feb 2 2013
AAP

The bereaved family of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha will turn to a coronial inquest for answers after prosecutors said they would not bring charges against two Australian radio presenters over a hoax call.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Friday announced 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian would not be charged for their December 3 prank call, which has been linked to Ms Saldanha's subsequent suicide.

"Having carefully reviewed the evidence currently available, we have concluded that there is no evidence to support a charge of manslaughter," CPS deputy head of special crime Malcolm McHaffie said in a statement.

While working at London's King Edward VII hospital, the 46-year-old mother of two answered a call from Greig and Christian posing as the Queen and Prince Charles.

The pair asked for an update on the condition of Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine, who had been admitted to the hospital with acute morning sickness.

"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," Mr McHaffie said.

After considering the case for more than a month, the CPS said its decision took into account that "it is not possible to extradite individuals from Australia in respect of the potential offences in question; (and) however misguided, the telephone call was intended as a harmless prank".

British MP Keith Vaz, who has represented Ms Saldanha's husband, son and daughter since the death, on Friday again spoke on their behalf.

"The family of Jacintha have been left devastated by her death," Mr Vaz said in a statement to AAP.

"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."

King Edward VII hospital chief executive John Lofthouse offered a brief comment on the CPS ruling.

"The consequences of that hoax call are well known, and tragic," he said.

"We will continue to support the family of much-loved nurse Jacintha Saldanha during what continues to be a very sad time."

The body of Indian-born Ms Saldanha was returned to her homeland in December for a Catholic funeral service in the southwestern state of Karnataka.

Greig and Christian, who remain off air, offered their tearful remorse over the hoax call during two Australian TV interviews in December.

Their show, during which the prank call was played, has since been scrapped as Australia's media watchdog probes the operations of the network.

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