Australian hoax call DJ to appear at inquest of Jacintha Saldanha

Mel Greig, one of two DJs who made hoax call to private hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was staying, to appear at inquest of nurse found dead three days after prank

One of the Australian DJs who made a prank call targeting the Duchess of Cambridge is to appear at the inquest of the nurse who put through the call.

Jacintha Saldanha, 45, was found dead in her nurse's lodgings at the King Edward VII hospital in London in December, three days after putting through the call from the 2Day FM hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who were pretending to be the Queen and the Prince of Wales.

Greig's lawyers, Slater & Gordon, said she would appear at the inquest and was "determined to address any questions surrounding her role in these tragic events".

Greig and Christian made the call the day after the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to the private hospital. Saldanha, a mother of two, put them through to a duty nurse, who divulged intimate medical details about the duchess. The prank call made headlines around the world and was deeply embarrassing for the hospital, which is the medical institution of choice for the royal family.

News of Greig's appearance at the inquest comes after the Sunday Times reported that Saldanha had blamed the two DJs for her death in a suicide note. It said the note read: "Please accept my apologies. I am truly sorry. Thank you for all your support. I hold the radio Australians Mel Greig and Michael Christian responsible for this act. Please make them pay my mortgage. I am sorry. Jacintha."

Saldanha reportedly left three apparent suicide notes. It was previously reported that she had criticised staff at the hospital where she worked in one of the notes.

A spokesman for Slater & Gordon told that Greig's decision to appear was unrelated to the latest reports about a suicide note. In a statement, Slater & Gordon said: "Ms Saldanha's suicide was a devastating tragedy and Ms Greig's thoughts have been with the family ever since. Ms Greig fully understands their need for answers, which is why she has taken this step to appear as an individual at the inquest. She is determined to address any questions surrounding her role in these tragic events as part of the inquest."

Greig, along with Christian, said she was "deeply shocked" after Saldanha's death and has yet to return on-air. The pair's show was cancelled but Christian returned to work on a new programme with a different station in February. Southern Cross Austereo, which owns 2Day FM, pledged to donate a minimum of A$500,000 (£325,000) to Saldanha's family.

The inquest was due to begin in London on Thursday but a spokeswoman from Westminster coroner's court said on Monday it had been adjourned until 12-13 September. A spokesman for the hospital said: "Jacintha Saldanha was an outstanding and much-loved member of our team. We continue to assist the coroner so that she can establish the full facts of the case."


Haroon Siddique

The GuardianTramp

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