News Column

No Charges in Kate Middleton Hoax Death

Feb. 1, 2013

No charges will be brought against the Australian DJs who made a prank call, taken by a nurse who later killed herself, to a hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge, British prosecutors said Friday.

Mel Greig and Michael Christian posed as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles when they called the central London hospital late last year.

The nurse who took the call, Jacintha Saldanha, was found hanged in the nurses' quarters a few days later. She had transferred the call to a colleague who described the duchess' condition in detail.

"Having carefully reviewed the evidence currently available, we have concluded that there is no evidence to support a charge of manslaughter," said prosecutor Malcolm McHaffie.

Prosecution for lesser offences was not in the public interest, he added. "However misguided, the telephone call was intended as a harmless prank," he said.

The two DJs had expressed their sorrow on Australian television after Saldanha's death, and their radio show was cancelled.

The duchess was admitted to the hospital suffering from acute morning sickness in December, forcing the royal family to announce her pregnancy. The baby is expected in July.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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