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British prosecutors rule out charges over royal hoax call

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

British prosecutors said on Friday they would not bring charges over a hoax call by two Australian radio DJs to the hospital where Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine was being treated.

The Crown Prosecution Service said there was no evidence to support a charge of manslaughter, despite the fact that Indian-born Jacintha Saldanha, 46, apparently committed suicide after answering the call.

It added that while there was some evidence of possible offences under data protection laws "no further investigation is required because any potential prosecution would not be in the public interest."

Malcolm McHaffie, Deputy Head of Special Crime at the Crown Prosecution Service, said police had handed them a file in December and asked advice about whether a prosecution should be brought.

He added: "It is not possible to extradite individuals from Australia in respect of the potential offences in question.

"However misguided, the telephone call was intended as a harmless prank."

Radio hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian have since been taken off air permanently by the Austereo network following the call, which resulted in details of Kate's recovery from severe morning sickness being revealed on air.

The pair also received death threats over the call, in which they posed as Queen Elizabeth II, William's father Prince Charles, and one of the queen's corgi dogs.

An inquest heard that Saldanha, a mother of two, was found hanged in staff accommodation at the private King Edward VII's Hospital in central London and there were no suspicious circumstances over her death.

She also had marks on her wrist.

Saldanha left three notes, one of which reportedly criticised colleagues over her treatment at the hospital.

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

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130201/british-prosecutors-rule-out-charges-over-royal-hoax-call