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Hoax call case: Oz radio station staffers get death threats

Last updated on: December 14, 2012 13:36 IST

Death threats have been made against the staff of an Australian radio station, whose DJs made a prank call to a United Kingdom hospital which was treating pregnant Princes Kate, prompting some of the employees to move to safe-houses.

Nearly a dozen staffers of Sydney-based 2DayFM station have been moved into safe-houses and up to ten executives have been assigned bodyguards following death threats against them, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The radio station management has recruited 24-hour security to guard the staff and the safe-house venue, costing the company an estimated $75,000 a week, the report said.

The development came after a threat letter was received on Thursday against Michael Christian, one of the DJs whose prank call led to the death of 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha.

The letter, which came from South Australia, stated, "There are bullets out there with your (Christian's) name on it".

Further threats involving a shotgun were also made. The letter was seized by detectives for examination.

Australian police have initiated a probe into the death threats and have spoken with the Southern Cross Austereo's employees about security. They are also monitoring social media for other threats, the paper said.

The company which runs 2Day FM radio station has been under severe criticism after Mel Greig and Christian -- posing as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles-- made the call which was received by Saldanha at London's King Edward VII Hospital.

She put them through to a colleague who divulged details of Kate's health conditions. Saldanha was subsequently found dead.

Meanwhile, the company said it was preparing for the long-haul, with specialist security expected to be in place for several weeks or months.

"We still have details to come from the hospital and the release of the suicide note. Depending on what comes from that could trigger more anger," the paper reported quoting a source.

Natasha Chaku In Melbourne
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