December 22, 2012

Britain: Charges possible in royal prank call case

The Associated Press

LONDON — Prosecutors are weighing whether to press charges over a royal hoax call that preceded a nurse's apparent suicide, police said Saturday.

Two Australian DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and her son, Prince Charles, as they phoned London's King Edward VII hospital in the early hours of Dec. 4 to ask about the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton, who had been hospitalized there after suffering from acute morning sickness stemming from her pregnancy.

The DJs' shaky upper-crust accents were apparently enough to fool 46-year-old nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who put them through to a colleague who in turn described the details of Kate's condition.

The call -- complete with the DJs' laughter at their luck -- went viral and was broadcast the world over. But the incident took a darker turn after Saldanha's body was found hanging in her room three days after the prank.

The DJs, 2DayFM's Mel Greig and Michael Christian, apologized for the prank in emotional interviews on Australian television, saying they never expected their call would be put through. The show was taken off the air and the DJs have been suspended.

In a statement, London's Metropolitan Police said that they had submitted a file to Britain's Crown Prosecution Service "to consider whether any potential offenses may have been committed by making the hoax call."

It's not clear what charges, if any, prosecutors were considering. The force said they would be making no further comment.

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