Two Australian DJs from radio station 2DayFM impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and her son, Prince Charles, when they phoned a London hospital in 2012 to ask about the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge, who had been hospitalized for severe morning sickness.
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha took the call and passed it on to a colleague who described Kate’s condition. Three days after the call was broadcast worldwide, Saldanha, 46, was found dead in her room.
Australia’s High Court ruled that the country’s broadcasting watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, has the power to find that the radio station broke the law, overturning a lower court decision.
In its judgment, the High Court said the station did not obtain the consent of the hospital’s staffers to air the recording. The ruling means the watchdog can pursue penalties against the station.
ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said his agency will now consider what sanctions may be applied, which could include suspending the station’s broadcasting license.