ibnlive » World

Dec 10, 2012 at 01:08pm IST

UK prank call: Tried contacting hospital before airing nurse's interview, claims radio station

Sydney: The Australian radio station, which is at the centre of the probe in the suicide case of an Indian-origin nurse who received a prank call from the station's radio hosts seeking details of condition of Prince William's wife Kate Middleton, has claimed that it tried to contact the hospital five times before airing the interview.

"It is absolutely true to say that we did attempt to contact those people on multiple occasions. We rang them up to discuss what we had recorded," said Southern Cross Austereo Chief Executive Rhys Holleran.

Two Australian radio DJs - Mel Greig and Michael Christian - managed to impersonate Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles on Tuesday and received confidential information about the Duchess's medical condition from Jacintha Saldanha. The controversial prank, however, took a dark twist three days later

when Saldanha, a 46-year-old mother of two, was found hanging at nurses' quarters next to the private King Edward VII hospital on Friday.

Kate is pregnant and was admitted to King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone - where Saldanha was employed - for acute morning sickness. The Duchess has been resting and has not been seen in public since leaving the hospital.

The Scotland Yard has begin its investigation into the case and have been assured cooperation by Australian police. The Scotland Yard is also likely to question the radio hosts, who were said to be in hiding amid global outrage. Police have not yet determined the cause of death of the nurse, but people from London to Sydney have been making the assumption that she died because of stress from the call.

The nurse's death sparked an angry backlash against the DJs, who were taken off the air indefinitely. The radio station also announced an immediate review of its broadcast practices after the debacle. Both DJs involved had apologised for the prank before Saldanha's death. Their Twitter accounts have been taken down after they were bombarded by thousands of abusive comments.

Meanwhile, Saldanha's family in India has said that her funeral would be held at Shirva in Karnataka later this week after her husband flies down with the body.