BEIRUT: The spokesperson of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Marten Youssef, said Tuesday that he resigned from his post for personal reasons.
Speaking to the National News Agency, Youssef said the decision to resign was based on personal reasons and had nothing to do with the court.
In a letter to the media, Youssef wrote that time had come for him to resign from his position, which he has held for three-and-a-half years with the U.N.-backed court.
“My conviction in the work of the STL remains. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me an opportunity to defend my beliefs, even when you disagreed with me,” Youssef said.
“I will truly miss working with you all and will miss Lebanon, with all of its uniqueness and complexities. As I have told many of you before, this country has become another home for me, so I am certain I will be back here in the future.”
Youssef was appointed as the tribunal’s spokesperson in April of 2011. He was born and raised in Egypt’s Ismailiya and holds Canadian citizenship. He studied Political Sciences at the Trinity Western University in British Columbia and then did journalism studies at the Langara College in Vancouver.
Before joining the STL, Youssef worked as a journalist in the Middle East, Africa and Canada. He was the senior courts and justice reporter for Abu Dhabi-based The National newspaper.
The court has not yet announced who would replace Youssef, but speaking to Al-Jadeed TV Tuesday evening, the former spokesperson urged journalists in Lebanon and abroad to apply for the position.
In his email, Youssef said he will now be going to Canada to start his own business.
During his years with the STL, Youssef was the point of contact for journalists and has appeared in dozens of interviews, explaining the court’s work and defending the tribunal against allegations.