BEIRUT: The head of the trial chamber at the tribunal prosecuting the alleged killers of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri resigned Tuesday, the court said in a statement.
Judge Robert Roth’s resignation is the latest high-profile departure from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is preparing to try in absentia four Hezbollah members accused of carrying out the 14 February 2005 attack that killed Hariri and 22 others.
Roth was elected in 2011 as the presiding judge of the trial chamber.
The court's registrar, Herman von Hebel, stepped down in March after being appointed to the International Criminal Court.
The resignation sheds doubts on whether the STL will be able to meet its schedule for the start of the trial in January. The court can appoint one of two alternate judges to the chamber, including Judge Walid Akoum who is from Lebanon.
The STL said the resignation would not impact trial preparation.
"The resignation of Judge Roth does not impede the preparations that are currently under way for a fair and expeditious trial," the court said in statement. "The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has mechanisms in place to ensure that its mandate is met, including the possibility of assigning an Alternate Judge in the event of a resignation."