Saldanha case: Key evidence handed over to hoax call station

Saldanha case: Key evidence handed over to hoax call station
London: Key evidence in the death of Indian-origin nurse Jacintha Saldanha in London has been handed over to the legal team representing the Australian radio station behind the hoax call that apparently lead to her suicide.

Saldanha, 46, had been found hanging days after the call from 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian to a UK hospital treating Kate Middleton.

An inquest into her death opened last week at Westminster Coroner's Court where Australia's Southern Cross Media Group, which owns the radio station, was allowed a position on the legal bench when the official inquest proceedings begin on May 2.

On Friday, the court handed over copies of the three notes the mother-of-two left before her apparent suicide, a police report, toxicology results, a statement from the duty nurse who was the last person to see her alive as well as a letter from her GP, which is expected to reveal whether she was on medication at the time of her death.

Some reports suggest that the nurse had apparently been treated by a doctor in India after an incidence of self-harm and may have been on anti-depressants.

Southern Cross Media's lawyer, Maya Sikand, was granted permission to be party to the proceedings on behalf of DJs Greig and Christian, who caused international uproar following their prank call to the King Edward VII's Hospital in London last December pretending to be members of the royal family.

There is dispute between the radio station and the hospital about whether 2Day FM tried to call the nurse back to get her permission before airing the hoax call.

Coroner Fiona Wilcox, who will be heading the inquest at Council House Chambers in Marylebone on May 2-3, has warned all parties that the aim of the proceedings was to allow a cause of death to be recorded and other "adversarial issues" will not be allowed to cloud the proceedings.

Her accountant husband Benedict Barboza, 49, son Junal, 17, and daughter Lisha, 14, are being represented pro-bono by John Cooper, who has questioned why the nurse had been answering phone calls on the day and whether that was in her contract.