Duchess hoax: Australian radio station to review practices
- 9 December 2012
- From the section Asia
The Australian radio station at the centre of the UK royal hospital hoax death says it is going to review its broadcasting practices.
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found dead three days after putting through a call that gathered details of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge's condition.
The hoax call was made by DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who have been taken off air and are being counselled.
Neither have commented but do want to speak to the media, a spokeswoman said.
The board of Southern Cross Austereo, which owns the radio station, 2DayFM, met on Sunday to discuss a highly critical letter from the hospital which was the victim of the prank call.
Southern Cross Austereo chairman Max Moore-Wilton promised in a letter to the chairman of King Edward VII's Hospital that the company would co-operate with any investigation.
He said: "We are all saddened by the events of the last few days. They are truly tragic.
"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 fully cooperate with all investigations.
"As we have said in our own statements on the matter, the outcome was unforeseeable and very regrettable.
"I can assure you we are taking immediate action and reviewing the broadcast processes involved."
'Desire to speak'
An inquest into Mrs Saldanha's apparent suicide is due to be opened in the next few days.
She 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 the Duchess of Cambridge's condition in detail.
There has been a strong reaction both in the UK and Australia towards Ms Greig and Mr Christian since the death of Mrs Saldanha, and both have been receiving counselling.
Both deleted their Twitter accounts and were taken off the air, but a Southern Cross Austereo spokeswoman said they had "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 Saldanha's husband, Ben Barboza, has written a tribute to her on his Facebook page.
"I am devastated with the tragic loss of my beloved wife Jacintha in tragic circumstances."
"She will be laid to rest in Shirva, India."
The family were being comforted by relatives and friends at their home in Bristol, where they were visited by Labour MP Keith Vaz on Sunday.
He said the family are "grief stricken and shocked" at Mrs Saldanha's death and were grateful to the hospital for establishing a memorial fund in her name.
He added: "The Mangalorean community will be organising a memorial service for her next week. The family will be making a further statement in due course."
Meanwhile, Prince William decided not to attend the British Military Tournament in London on Sunday.
A St James' Palace spokesman said the prince had opted instead to spend Sunday privately with the duchess, who had been in hospital with an extreme form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.