South African doctor Cyril Karabus flew to Cape Town on Friday after spending nine months under arrest in the UAE.
Karabus, a paediatric oncologist, was accused of killing a three-year old leukaemia patient while working in Abu Dhabi in 2002, and was convicted and sentenced to three years in jail and ordered to pay AED100,000 ($27,226) without his knowledge.
Karabus was arrested at Dubai airport in August last year as he changed flights on his way home from his son’s wedding in Canada, and in the intervening months has had bail denied four times, as well as having his case postponed 13 times.
Following the meeting of a medical review committee comprising nine doctors in March, Karabus was cleared of any wrongdoing and subsequently found not guilty by the court, with a subsequent appeal dismissed.
Last month, in an unexpected move, the Abu Dhabi appeals court acquitted Karabus on all charges.
At a press conference at Cape Town International Airport on Friday, Karabus said it was a relief to be home.
Karabus’s lawyer Michael Bagraim thanked the media for keeping the issue alive.
"We take our freedoms in South Africa for granted," local media quoted him as saying. "As a lawyer, I am used to a process and getting a result. We couldn’t get that there. It was the press that kept the issue alive."