An Egyptian court has accepted an appeal by ousted former president Hosni Mubarak and his former interior minister, allowing him to be retried over the killings of protesters in the 2011 uprising.

Mr Mubarak and former interior minister Habib al-Adli were sentenced to life in prison in June last year.

A court ruling held them responsible for the deaths of protesters killed by security forces trying to quell the uprising.

Crowds of Mr Mubarak’s supporters attending the trial cheered.

The 84-year-old former leader was moved from prison to a military hospital in late December after breaking ribs in a fall.

"The retrial will be based on the same evidence used in the previous trial. No new evidence will be added to the case," said Mohamed Abdel Razek, one of Mr Mubarak's lawyers.

He added that the new panel of judges could consider Mr Mubarak's health when issuing a verdict.

The court has also ordered a retrial of Mr al-Adli's aides.

The ruling poses a distraction for President Mohammed Mursi as he tries to restore law and order.

He is grappling with a wrecked economy and trying to deal with the aftermath of the worst political crisis since Mr Mubarak's removal from power.

A new trial is virtually certain to dominate national headlines, attracting attention away from a crucial election for a new house of deputies roughly three months from now.

Mr Mursi and his Islamist allies are determined to win a comfortable majority in the new chamber, allowing them to take control of the country.