Ian Edmondson medically 'unfit' to continue phone-hacking trial, court told

Former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson is "currently unfit" and will take no further part in the trial over alleged phone hacking at the now-defunct newspaper, a jury has heard.

Edmondson, 44, was accused of conspiring to hack phones between 3 October 2000 and 9 August 2006 while working at the former tabloid.

Mr Justice Saunders told the jury at the Old Bailey today: "The consensus of opinion of doctors instructed both by the defence and the prosecution is that he is currently unfit."

Mr Saunders said: "I have received and read a number of medical reports about the fitness of Mr Edmondson to continue to participate in the current trial.

He added: "It is not anticipated that it will be long before he is fit to continue but it will be several weeks and there can be no guarantee that at the end of that period of time he will be fit.

"Bearing in mind the current estimate of the length of this trial, I do not think it is appropriate to adjourn to wait for his recovery and accordingly I shall discharge you from giving a verdict in his case.

"He will be tried by a different jury at a later date."

The jury was told on Tuesday that Edmondson had been missing from court for the previous ten days due to a medical complaint.

His legal team said they were unable to receive instruction from the 44-year-old journalist and could not cross examine any witnesses.

The trial continues against the remaining seven defendants who deny all charges. 

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