Jacintha Saldanha Death: 2Day FM DJs Want To Speak To Public After Nurse Prank

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2DAY FM
Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who made the prank call that duped Ms Saldanha | AP

The Australian radio station embroiled in the Royal baby hoax scandal has said it is reviewing its broadcasting practices and will help with investigations into the suspected suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha.

The owners of 2Day FM spoke out after British Police confirmed officers had contacted their Australian counterparts over the death.

jacintha saldanha

On Saturday, police released the first pictures of the nurse, Jacintha Saldanha

Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who made the prank call that duped Ms Saldanha into helping reveal details about the Duchess of Cambridge's health, have also expressed a desire to speak about the tragedy.

Ms Saldanha, 46, apparently took her own life following the incident at the King Edward VII's Hospital.
Scotland Yard have contacted police in Sydney and it is understood they may wish to interview the two DJs, who present a show on the Australian station.

A spokeswoman for the station's parent company, Southern Cross Austereo, said the presenters want to speak out about Ms Saldanha's death.

"They have expressed a desire to speak. We haven't ascertained when they're ready for that and how we're going to organise that, but they certainly want to," the spokeswoman said.

Ms Greig and Mr Christian have so far remained tight-lipped after the incident, and are receiving "intensive psychological counselling" to deal with the tragedy, The Australian newspaper said.

The pair are on indefinite leave from the radio station, and have been bombarded with abusive and threatening messages on social media websites.

Scotland Yard have "touched base" with Australian police, Nick Kaldas, deputy commissioner for New South Wales Police, told Sky News.

He confirmed they had been in contact but said it had not been indicated by Scotland Yard that the DJs had committed an offence.

The Metropolitan Police also confirmed they had spoken to their counterparts in Sydney.

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A post-mortem examination is due to be held this week and an inquest opened and adjourned at Westminster Coroner's Court, Scotland Yard said. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Meanwhile, Austereo's chairman, Max Moore-Wilton, replied to a letter from Lord Glenarthur, chairman of the King Edward VII's Hospital, in which he called for the "truly appalling" broadcast to "never be repeated".

In his reply, Mr Moore-Wilton described the events of the past few days as "tragic", but added: "As we have said in our own statements on the matter, the outcome was unforeseeable and very regrettable."

The letter goes on: "It is too early to know the full details leading to this tragic event and we are anxious to review the results of any investigation that may be made available to us or made public. We can assure you that we will be fully co-operative with all investigations.

"I can assure you that we are taking immediate action and reviewing the broadcast and processes involved.

"Our company joins with you all at King Edward VII's Hospital and Mrs Saldanha's family and friends in mourning their tragic loss."

In his letter to Austereo, Lord Glenarthur yesterday condemned the prank phone call, saying he wanted to "protest" against the "extremely foolish" gag.

Calling Ms Saldanha's death "tragic beyond words", he said the immediate consequence of the station's "premeditated and ill-considered actions" led to the "humiliation" of Ms Saldanha and another nurse.

He wrote: "I appreciate that you cannot undo the damage which has been done but I would urge you to take steps to ensure that such an incident could never be repeated."

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, which regulates radio broadcasting, confirmed it had received complaints from all around the world, and said it was considering whether it should launch an investigation into whether the presenters breached the commercial radio code of practice.

Sources told the Press Association an investigation was "likely" to be opened into the broadcast.

Ms Saldanha was pronounced dead on Friday morning at staff accommodation close to the hospital.

She had answered the presenters' call and, believing they were members of the Royal Family, put them through to another nurse who described Kate's condition in detail.

Ms Saldanha's devastated family were being comforted by relatives and friends at their terrace home at Greystoke Avenue, Southmead, Bristol.

A friend at the address said Ms Saldanha's partner Benedict Barboza, 49, and their teenage son and daughter, aged 14 and 16, were "very, very shocked and unhappy at the tragedy".

In a statement last night, Ms Saldanha's family said: "We as a family are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Jacintha. We would ask that the media respect our privacy at this difficult time."

Ms Saldanha is originally from Mangalore in south-west India, The Sunday Telegraph said, where her family spoke of their heartache.

Her mother-in-law, Carmine Barboza, told the paper of the moment she heard of Ms Saldanha's death from her son.

She told the newspaper: "He was crying and couldn't speak much. We got a call last night from Benedict informing us that Jacintha had died.

"More than that, we do not know, about what actually happened. She is dead, that's all. Jacintha was a very caring woman. She used to call us every Sunday without fail. We just cannot believe what has happened.

"We don't know whether we'll be able to bring her dead body back to India but we desperately hope so."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have sent their condolences to Ms Saldanha's family.

In a statement on Friday night, St James's Palace said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha.

"Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII's Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."

The spokesman stressed that they had not complained to the hospital about the hoax call, saying: "On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times."

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