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Kate hoax call: Indian-origin nurse's body flown to India

Press Trust of India
Dec 14, 2012 at 09:30pm IST

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London: The body of an Indian-origin nurse, who died after being duped by a prank call to a UK hospital treating a pregnant Princess Kate, was on Friday flown to India, official sources said, amid reports that the mum-of-two had criticised her senior colleagues in one of the three emotional suicide notes she left behind.

The body of 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha was transported by a Jet Airways flight to Mumbai, where it will reach at 0030 hrs on Saturday, sources said. It will be flown to Mangalore on December 16 for funeral to be held at Surve near Udipi, they said.

Saldanha wrote three emotional notes revealing the anguish that led to her suicide after she was duped by two Australian radio DJs into believing they were royalty. In one of the notes, the distraught mum-of-two outlines how she struggled to come to terms with the prank call by Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian to the hospital where 30-year-old Kate was being treated for severe morning sickness, the Daily Mirror reported.

Kate hoax call: Nurse's body flown to India

The body of an Indian-origin nurse, who died after being duped by a prank call to a UK hospital, was on Friday flown to India.

But in another she criticises her senior colleagues at the King Edward VII hospital over her treatment after the pair had pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles asking about the duchess' condition. However, the hospital said it had offered support to the nurse after she fell victim to the hoax call and that she was not reprimanded.

In a statement released after a memorial service for the nurse, the hospital said it could not comment on the contents of the notes found in her room because it had not seen them but insisted that she was not subject to any disciplinary procedure and that there had been no criticism of her.

"There have been reports today about the alleged contents of one of the notes found in Jacintha's room. No-one at the hospital has seen these notes, and so we cannot comment on the reports or their accuracy.

"Following the hoax call, hospital management offered her their support and told her that they considered her the victim of a cruel hoax. They stood by her actions, and made it clear there was no criticism of her, and that there would be no disciplinary action of any kind," it said.

It is believed the nurse's suicide note has left her grieving family furious, with her husband Ben Barboza believed to be favouring an inquiry. A source close to Saldanha's family was quoted by the Mirror as saying about the notes recovered from her accommodation: "One of the letters, which is the longest, deals with the hospital and is critical in its tone.

"Needless to say, Ben wants a full inquiry into what happened, and he wants to make sure the truth comes out. Within the letter Jacintha calls into question some of the treatment she received at the hospital."

Scotland Yard detectives are examining the notes, as well as interviewing Saldanha's friends, family and colleagues at the hospital. The family have been provided with transcripts of all three notes.

Saldanha's third suicide letter is more of a practical one which deals with her funeral arrangements. Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is working on behalf of her relatives, said on Thursday night: "The truth of this matter has to come out for the sake of her family".

Australia's media watchdog has launched a rare fast-track probe into the broadcast of the prank call by a Sydney-based radio station. As the hoax call sparked global condemnation, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said it was using its special powers to launch a rare "own motion" probe contrary to other cases where it has to wait for complaints.

The radio station's owner Southern Cross Austereo had said earlier that all profits from advertising for the rest of the year would go into a fund for Saldanha's family. It had said it would make a minimum contribution of 500,000 dollars. The two radio presenters behind the prank call had said they were "gutted and heartbroken" over the death of the nurse.

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