Deputy State Pathologist resigns
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber has resigned from his post.
The Department of Justice confirmed the Saudi-born specialist handed in his notice yesterday and quit with immediate effect.
A spokeswoman for Justice Minister Alan Shatter said: "Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber has tendered his resignation to the Minister for Justice and Equality.
"Dr Jaber's resignation has been accepted with immediate effect and he has been notified accordingly."
The pathologist was appointed in 2010 to the Office of the State Pathologist, headed by Professor Marie Cassidy since 2004.
His shock resignation comes amid reports of a dispute with Dr Cassidy and claims he has criticised her qualifications for her job.
The Department of Justice insisted the grounds on which the resignation has occurred are primarily private matters for Dr Jaber.
"It would not be appropriate to comment on them publicly," the spokeswoman continued.
She insisted his move will not hinder any ongoing criminal investigations that Dr Jaber has been involved in.
"The resignation will not prevent the prosecution of criminal cases where medical examinations have been carried out by Dr Jaber in his capacity as Deputy State Pathologist," she said.
"In this context Dr Jaber can be called as a witness by the prosecution and give evidence before the relevant court.
"In the event that Dr Jaber is not available the file will be referred to a senior pathologist who will give evidence.
"The State Pathologist has been informed of the position in relation to Dr Jaber and she will put the necessary operational arrangements in place to take account of his resignation."
Prof Cassidy, 54, from Glasgow, is also assisted by deputy pathologist Dr Michael Curtis, while by Dr Margot Bolster assists on a part-time and regional basis.
The spokeswoman added: "The question of finding a replacement for Dr Jaber will be pursued by the Department of Justice and Equality at an early stage and in that regard the Minister considers that a professional and comprehensive pathology service will continue to be delivered."