Aus police to assess Scotland Yard request on royal hoax case

Posted By: PTI
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Melbourne, July 11: Australian police on Thursday said they will assess the request made by Scotland Yard to consider criminal charges against Sydney radio station '2DayFM' and two of its DJs over a royal prank call which led to the death of an Indian-origin nurse in the UK.

British prosecutors decided not to bring charges against DJs Mel Grieg and Michael Christian, but Scotland Yard has now passed details of its investigation to Australian Federal Police and New South Wales Police to examine whether the pair broke Australian law. "On July 9 the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) passed a file to the Australian Federal Police and New South Wales police in relation to a hoax call made to the King Edward VII Hospital on December 4 2012," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

"The MPS has requested that consideration is given as to whether any offences were committed under Australian legislation," it said. A New South Wales Police spokeswoman was quoted by ABC news as saying that state and federal police will now assess the referral. The call by Grieg and Christian to King Edward VII hospital in London where Kate Middleton was being treated for acute morning sickness had resulted in the suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who fell for the prank and put the call through to the Duchess of Cambridge's ward.

The DJs called the hospital posing as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William's father Prince Charles. Saldanha forwarded the call to another nurse, who divulged confidential medical information about Kate. The prank was broadcast by radio station 2Day FM within hours, and made headlines around the world. Saldanha was found dead on December 7 last year in the nurses' quarters three days later, having hanged herself with a scarf. Her death sparked global outrage against the DJs.

Greig is still on an extended leave of absence and yesterday the Fair Work Commission confirmed her lawyers had filed legal action against her employer Southern Cross Austereo, claiming the company failed to maintain a safe workplace. Fair Work Australia will now take the two parties to a conciliation conference but says if nothing is resolved, Grieg will need to pursue any further legal action through the Federal Court. Southern Cross Austereo has declined to comment on the matter.


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