The retrial of former president Hosni Mubarak came to an abrupt end in its first session on Saturday after presiding judge Mostafa Abdallah recused himself.
Abdallah referred the case back to the Cairo Court of Appeals which will now have to assign the case to a different bench.
The Cairo Criminal Court judge had previously ruled to acquit all 21 defendants in the Camel Battle trial of 2012 and therefore set a precedent. He resigned from the case in order to prevent any accusations of bias.
Mubarak is on trial for failing to protect protesters who were killed during the 25 January 2011 uprising that ousted him. He is also facing corruption charges.
He was sentenced to life in prison in June 2012 for failing to protect the protesters but found not guilty of corruption. His Minister of Interior Habib Al-Adly was also sentenced to life in prison but his six deputies were found not guilty.
Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal, who also faced corruption charges, were found not guilty but remain in custody for other charges.
Defence lawyers for Mubarak and Al-Adly appealed the verdict to the Court of Cassation and so did the public prosecution, which said new evidence had arisen. The court, the highest in Egypt, accepted both appeals and ordered a retrial.
The retrial was scheduled to start on Saturday but it could now take months for the Cairo Court of Appeals to assign another judge to the case.
Photos By: AFP