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Phone-hacking trial: Former Royal editor returns to witness box

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.

Court: Clive Goodman

After a three day break while legal and case management issues were dealt with, the jury took their seats just after noon to see former News of the World Royal editor Clive Goodman in the witness box. Goodman, who was taken ill when being cross-examined on the 20 March had been ruled unfit to plead for over eight weeks, however the judge told the jury that an independent expert had now examined the defendant and informed the court he was now well enough to continue.

Goodman, who served four months in prison for phone-hacking in 2007, has already testified that he told the newspaper's former editor, Andy Coulson, that he had been intercepting the voicemails of various members of the Royal household and that Coulson had approved paying a retainer to a private detective, Glenn Mulcaire, to obtain pin numbers for other mobile phones associated with the Royal family, an assertion which Coulson denies.

Given the gap between Goodman's original testimony and his cross-examination, the presiding judge, Mr Justice Saunders, took the unusual step of reading to the jury his summary of Goodman's previous evidence. Once this was completed, Saunders invited Timothy Langdale QC, counsel for Coulson, to continue his interrupted cross-examination.

The trial continues.

Click here to view more posts from The Drum's daily phone-hacking trial coverage

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