Former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson has been unable to attend the Old Bailey for the past ten days because he is unwell, a court heard today.
Edmondson , 44, from Raynes Park, south west London is on trial accused of conspiring with others to hack mobile phones.
The court heard that Edmondson has been taken ill and has been unable to instruct his lawyers. A medical report on his condition has been ordered and will be presented to the court in the near future.
The court was told that Edmondson’s legal team cannot cross examine any witnesses in his absence.
Edmondson stands accused alongside former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire; ex News of the World editor Andy Coulson, also 45, from Charing in Kent and the tabloid's ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Woodford Green, Essex, are all on trial accused of conspiring with others to hack phones between 3 October 2000 and 9 August 2006.
Former NoW and Sun editor Brooks is also accused of two counts of conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office – one between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2012 and the other between 9 February 2006 and 16 October 2008 – linked to alleged inappropriate payments to public officials.
She faces another two allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – one with her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, 49, from Chelmsford in Essex, between 6 July and 9 July 2011; and a second with her husband, Charles Brooks, and former head of security at News International, Mark Hanna, and others between 15 July and 19 July 2011.
Coulson is also facing two allegations that he conspired with former NoW royal editor Clive Goodman, 56, from Addlestone in Surrey, and other unknown people to commit misconduct in public office – between 31 August 2002 and 31 January 2003, and between 31 January and 3 June 2005.
All of the accused deny all of the charges.
The trial continues.