CANBERRA/LONDON Dec 13 Australia's media
regulator launched an investigation on Thursday into a prank
call by a radio station to a London hospital treating Prince
William's pregnant wife as condemnation grew after the death of
the nurse who took the call.
The body of nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found last Friday,
days after she put the hoax call through to a colleague who
disclosed details of the treatment being given to William's wife
Kate, who is suffering from acute morning sickness.
The prank made headlines around the world, as did news that
Saldanha, who was married with two children, had then apparently
British lawmaker Keith Vaz, who represents Saldanha's
family, said he had written to Southern Cross Austereo,
parent company of Sydney radio station 2Day FM, to express his
"There has been no written apology, no request for a meeting
with the family and no attempt to travel to the United Kingdom
to express contrition," Vaz wrote in a letter to Southern Cross
chief executive Rhys Holleran that he released to the media.
Southern Cross, which has apologised for the stunt, said on
Tuesday it would donate its advertising revenue until the end of
the year to a fund for Saldanha's family, with a minimum
contribution of A$500,000 ($525,000).
"I would be grateful if you could let me know how you
arrived at this figure and why you think this adequately deals
with this serious and important issue," Vaz wrote.
Southern Cross and its two presenters, Mel Greig and Michael
Christian, have faced a barrage of criticism since Saldanha, 46,
was found dead in staff accommodation near London's King Edward
Greig and Christian have both been suspended and their show
has been scrapped. They appeared on Australian television to say
the death had left them heartbroken.
In a brief statement on Thursday, broadcast media regulator
the Australian Communications and Media Authority said it had
opened a formal inquiry to see if 2Day FM had breached its
licence conditions and commercial radio codes of practice.
The radio codes state that a radio station must not
broadcast words of an identifiable person unless they have given
permission for the broadcast. The station has said it tried to
contact the station several times before it broadcast the prank.
The authority can impose new licence conditions if it finds
a breach or, in extreme cases, can suspend or cancel a
British newspapers have reported that Saldanha was found
hanged and had left a note for her family. London police said
they would not comment on the reports and that details of her
death would be presented at an inquest opening on Thursday.
The hospital has said Saldanha had not been criticised or
disciplined for taking the call, although Vaz said he wanted an
inquiry to establish the facts.