THE family of a British nurse who took her own life after receiving a prank phone call from two Australian radio DJs is “disappointed” the inquest into her death has been delayed for a second time.
The inquest was due to be held on Thursday and Friday this week in central London.
But a spokesman for Westminster City Council, which handles media inquiries for Westminster Coroner’s Court where the inquest was first opened, said it had been adjourned again because Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox was “seeking more information”.
“We will announce another date in due course, hopefully within a few days,” the spokesman told AAP.
The inquest was initially scheduled for May.
British MP Keith Vaz, who’s been speaking on behalf of Jacinta Saldanha’s family, says they were surprised to hear the inquest was delayed again just a few days before it was due to begin.
“They are rather disappointed at the decision as they have been waiting for nine months and this is the second time the inquest has been adjourned,” Mr Vaz said in a statement.
“For them the inquest represents closure. We very much hope we will have a new date set soon.”
Ms Saldanha committed suicide in December 2012 just days after 2DayFM’s Mel Greig and Michael Christian rang London’s King Edward VII hospital posing as the Queen and Prince Charles.
The 46-year-old, a mother of two, transferred the call to a duty nurse who gave out information about Prince William’s pregnant wife Kate Middleton.
Radio station 2DayFM last week said it had phone records showing it attempted to gain permission to air the now infamous prank call.
The station always maintained that four follow-up calls were made despite the hospital stating it had no records of the subsequent calls being placed.
“It has been somewhat contentious for a while, but today 2DayFM has established through its phone logs and verification by the phone company that those calls were made to the hospital after the first call, which became known as the prank call,” a spokesman told AAP on Tuesday.
The inquest will hear evidence in person from Greig who confirmed earlier this year, through her lawyers, that she would appear at the hearing.
The coroner has granted anonymity to a duty nurse who may have been one of the last people to speak with Indian-born Ms Saldanha on the night of the call.
British police have passed a file relating to the hoax call to both the Australian Federal Police and NSW Police and asked them to consider “whether any offences were committed under Australian legislation”.
UK prosecutors in February announced Greig and Christian would not be charged in the UK over the prank. – AAP
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