Prank call Australian RJs will not face charges

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 01, 2013 14:20 hrs

London, Feb 1 (IANS) Two Australian radio hosts who made a prank call to a London hospital, which led to the suicide of Indian-origin nurse Jacintha Saldanha, will not face any charges in Britain, a media report said Friday.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was no evidence to support a manslaughter charge against Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the Daily Mail reported.

The hosts posed as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles to call the King Edward VII's hospital in London.

Saldanha, who transferred the phone call to a colleague who then described Kate's condition in detail, was found hanging a few days after the incident.

Following a global backlash against the two callers, the case was investigated.

But Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of special crime at the CPS, said any potential prosecution would not be in the public interest.

He said Scotland Yard provided the CPS with a file of evidence 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," he said.

He said although there was some evidence to warrant further investigation, no further probe was required "because any potential prosecution would not be in the public interest".

McHaffie said the CPS had taken into account, among other matters, that it was not possible to extradite people from Australia on the potential offences in question.

He said it considered that "however misguided, the telephone call was intended as a harmless prank".

"The consequences in this case were very sad. We send our sincere condolences to Jacintha Saldanha's family," the British official said.

Greig and Christian of 2Day FM in Sydney received death threats following the phone call.

Their show has been axed, but the presenters are still employed.

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