Australian Radio Station Behind Kate Middleton Prank Call Moves to Block Probe
The Australian radio station involved in the “royal hoax” prank call targeted at Kate Middleton, which was linked to the suspected suicide of a British nurse, has moved to block a formal investigation into the incident.
The Sydney broadcaster 2DayFM has filed an application to the Australian Federal Court for an order restraining the country’s media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), from moving forward with an investigation into the prank call made by station DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig.
In December, Christian and Greig called the hospital where Middleton was staying while suffering from morning sickness. During the on-air call, the duo pretended to be Queen Elizabeth II and Price William's father Prince Charles. British nurse Jacintha Saldanha took the call and fell for the ruse, passing the phone to a colleague who divulged information regarding Middleton’s condition. The prank made global headlines and Saldanha died of an apparent suicide days later.
The ACMA has been investigating whether the prank call breached 2Day FM’s broadcasting license and the commercial radio codes of practice, but the station is disputing whether the watchdog has such powers.
"Today FM considers that the ACMA has no power to make such a finding," 2Day FM's parent company Austereo said in a statement, also asserting that "the recording of the prank call did not breach any law."
For its part, the ACMA said it intends to contest Today FM’s restraining order.
Middleton and Prince William's baby, meanwhile, is due in mid-July and will be the third in line to the British throne.