Defendant Ian Edmondson 'unfit' for hacking trial

Ian Edmondson Mr Saunders said he expected it to be several weeks until Mr Edmondson was fit to continue

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Former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson is "unfit" and will play no further part in the phone-hacking trial, the jury has been told.

Mr Edmondson, 44, denied conspiring to hack phones while working at the former tabloid newspaper.

He will be tried by a different jury at a later date, the Old Bailey heard.

Trial judge Mr Justice Saunders said he did not think it was appropriate to adjourn the case, which involves seven other defendants.

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.

"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."

Mr Edmondson, from Raynes Park, west London, was one of eight defendants on trial in connection with the phone-hacking affair.

The remaining seven defendants, who face a variety of charges, have all pleaded not guilty.

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