The new trial session is to take place after a separate court convenes to decide whether to replace Judge Refaat [EPA]

The trial of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak , Egypt's former president, has been adjourned until December 28 to allow time for a separate court to decide whether to change the judges presiding over his case.

Judge Ahmed Refaat announced the adjournment in a Cairo court on Sunday, in front of Mubarak, his two sons, the former interior minister and senior police officers.

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The men face a range of charges, including involvement in the killing of protesters during an 18-day uprising against Mubarak's rule in January.

A separate court is to convene on November 3, after a separate court convenes to decide whether to replace Refaat and others on the judges' panel.

Some of the lawyers representing families of those killed in the uprising have demanded changes to the panel, saying it failed to allow them adequate time to question Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who heads the army council now ruling Egypt.

Absolving Mubarak

Leaks of Tantawi's testimony suggested that he sought to absolve Mubarak of any responsibility for the killing of about 850 protesters during the uprising that forced him to step down on February 11.

Mubarak is charged with complicity in the killings and if convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Tantawi was Mubarak's defence minister for about 20 years, and was widely believed to be blindly loyal to the former leader.

He and about two dozen generals sit on the now-ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) who took control of the country from Mubarak when he stepped down, pledging to return to the country to civilian rule after a transition period.

Protesters have grown increasingly frustrated with the army, which was called into the streets when police lost control on January 28.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies