Ian Edmondson removed from phone-hacking trial

The trial of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, the prime minister's former director of communications Andy Coulson and six others began at the Old Bailey on 28 October. The Drum will be in court for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last at least four months, and will provide comprehensive updates on this blog.

The trial is scheduled to examine seven counts that include conspiracy to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Coverage will be provided by James Doleman, who was acclaimed for his exhaustive and responsible reporting of the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial.

In a surprise development in the Old Bailey phone-hacking trial, one of the defendants, Ian Edmondson, has been removed from the case due to ill health.

Edmondson, a former news editor at the now defunct News of the World, was arrested by police investigating the scandal in April 2012 and charged, along with Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and others with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority from 3 October 2000 to 9 August 2006.

Mr Justice Saunders told the jury that he had received a number of medical reports on Edmondson, who has rarely attended the trial due to ill health, and the consensus was he was unfit to stand trial and would be for at least several weeks.

The judge then discharged the jury from the part of the case relating to Edmondson, telling them he would stand trial alone at a future date.

The case against the other defendants, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and five others, continues.