October 31, 2014
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British prosecutors to consider criminal charges in royal hoax call

LONDON, ENGLAND (BNO NEWS) — British prosecutors are considering whether to file criminal charges against two Australian DJs who placed a hoax call to a London hospital where Prince William’s pregnant wife Kate was being treated, apparently leading to the suicide of a nurse who transferred the call.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), which is better known as Scotland Yard, said its officers have liaised with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to determine whether any criminal offenses were committed in relation to the hoax call made to King Edward VII Hospital in central London on December 4.

“On Wednesday 19 December, officers submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service for them to consider whether any potential offences may have been committed by making the hoax call,” a Scotland Yard spokesperson said on Saturday, declining to provide other details.

Mel Greig and Michael Christian, presenters at 2Day FM in Sydney, placed a hoax call to King Edward VII Hospital during the early hours of December 4. They posed as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in the hopes of being transferred to Prince William’s pregnant wife Kate, but they were instead transferred to a nurse who provided confidential details about her condition.

The nurse who took the call and transferred it, 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha, was found dead from an apparent suicide in staff accommodation near the hospital on December 7. It is believed the hoax call had confused and agitated Saldanha, who reportedly left three suicide notes in which she blames Greig and Christian for her death.

It is unclear which charges are being considered and how they would be pursued against Greig and Christian, as they were both in Australia when they made the call. The presenters made a tearful televised apology several days after Saldanha’s suicide, and both have received death threats.

Australia’s media watchdog has also opened an investigation into the call.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was hospitalized at King Edward VII Hospital on December 4 with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a rare form of acute morning sickness which requires supplementary hydration and nutrients. She was released from the hospital a few days later, and the royal couple expressed their shock and sadness over Saldanha’s death.

The couple’s expected child will be destined to be the future monarch after Commonwealth leaders agreed in October 2011 to change current succession laws. While the law has not yet been altered, it will give the daughter of any future monarch equal rights to the throne as a son. This will put the child third in the line of succession, behind Prince Charles and Prince William.

William and Catherine first met at Scotland’s St. Andrew’s University in 2001 and began dating two years later, in 2003. They became engaged in October 2010 during a private holiday in Kenya and married at London’s Westminster Abbey in April 2011. The royal wedding was watched by hundreds of millions of people around the world, including 72 million people on YouTube alone.

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