U.K. Won't Charge Australian Radio DJs Over Kate Middleton Hoax Call

4:51 AM PST 02/01/2013 by Stuart Kemp
Mark Large/Getty Images

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service describes the call to a hospital, which was linked to a nurse's suicide, as a harmless prank with "very sad" consequences.

LONDON -- The two Australian DJs involved in the Kate Middleton hospital hoax, which led to the suicide of the nurse, will not face criminal charges in the U.K.

The Crown Prosecution Service said Friday that it has decided no charges will be brought against Mel Greig and Michael Christian for their infamous gag.

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Pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, the radio hosts telephoned the King Edward VII Hospital in London to find out how the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was doing.

Middleton was being treated for acute morning sickness.

The Dec. 6 prank created a media storm and was the subject of a police investigation after Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse at the private hospital who initially took the call before passing it on, committed suicide two days after being fooled by the DJs.

The metropolitan police service provided the CPS with a file of evidence Dec. 19 to see if charges should be filed against the radio duo.

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CPS deputy head of special crime Malcolm McHaffie said: “Having carefully reviewed the evidence currently available, we have concluded that there is no evidence to support a charge of manslaughter, and that although there is some evidence to warrant further investigation of offenses under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Communications Act 2003, no further investigation is required because any potential prosecution would not be in the public interest."

The CPS also noted that it is not possible to extradite individuals from Australia in respect of the potential offenses in question and that, however misguided, the telephone call was intended as a harmless prank.

"The consequences in this case were very sad," McHaffie said. "We send our sincere condolences to Jacintha Saldanha’s family."

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