The retrial of former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak, convicted for his part in the murders of Tahir Square protesters and sentenced to life in prison last June, ended almost as soon as it began today. The judge recused himself from the case and referred it to a lower court.
It's still unclear why the judge stepped down. The Washington Post reports that Judge Mostafa Hassan Abdallah stepped down because "he is presiding over another case related to violence allegedly perpetrated during Egypt’s uprising" while Al Jazeera says it was because the judge "did not wish to embarrass himself." CNN, on the other hand, is reporting that the judge "quit the case over a medical condition." And the Guardian claims he "resigned on the grounds that any judgment he made would be viewed suspiciously because of his previous involvement in trials of Mubarak-era officials."
All outlets seem to agree that the decision was not well-received inside the courtroom, which erupted in shouts of protest as the judge walked out and Mubarak (who turned up in style, wearing a "white tracksuit" and "gold-rimmed aviator sunglasses") was loaded onto a helicopter and flown back to a military hospital.