Moors Murderer Ian Brady's mental health tribunal will be delayed because he is too ill to attend, a judge ruled today.
Judge Robert Atherton said he accepted that Brady, who is understood to have suffered a seizure earlier this week, was too ill to take part in the public hearing, which was due to begin on Monday.
No new date for the hearing has been set, he added.
Brady, 74, who, with Myra Hindley, murdered five children in the 1960s, has been returned to Ashworth psychiatric hospital after undergoing medical tests at Fazakerley General Hospital in Aintree, Liverpool.
The judge said that while his condition was not life-threatening, it was serious enough to "preclude his attendance and proper participation in the hearing".
"The tribunal considered that it would not be proper to continue in his absence as it had been a significant factor in the decision to grant a hearing in public that he would participate in such a hearing," the judge said.
He added that a "short postponement" was not considered practical and a new date would be set later.
The judge went on: "The tribunal are acutely aware of the public interest in this case being resolved as soon as possible and of the extensive arrangements which have been made to facilitate its hearing.
"But in the circumstances the tribunal had to conclude that the forthcoming hearing must be adjourned to a date to be fixed when the commitments of those involved have been ascertained because of Mr Brady's present physical condition."
The tribunal will consider Brady's application to be transferred to a Scottish prison and be allowed to die.
He has been tube-fed since refusing food 12 years ago.
Brady and Hindley lured youngsters to their deaths, with the victims sexually tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor above Manchester.
Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12, 1963 and John Kilbride, 12, was snatched in November the same year.
Keith Bennett was abducted on June 16, 1964 after he left home to visit his grandmother; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.
Brady was given life at Chester Assizes in 1966 for the murders of John, Lesley Ann and Edward.Hindley was convicted of killing Lesley Ann and Edward and shielding Brady after John's murder, and also jailed for life.
In 1987 the pair finally admitted killing Keith and Pauline.
Both were taken back to Saddleworth Moor in 1987 to help police find the remains of the missing victims but only Pauline's body was found.
Hindley died in jail in November 2002, aged 60.