Doctor cleared of UAE manslaughter may sue Emirates

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A doctor cleared of manslaughter charges in the UAE dating back to a decade ago says he could sue Dubai’s Emirates Airline and the Canadian firm that employed him in the Gulf state.

Cyril 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.

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.

Karabus told South African newspaper The Independent that he could take legal action against Emirates, who he claimed misled him. “I’m looking into suing the airline because they… said it was clear to travel to the UAE,” he said.

According to Karabus, Emirates Airline staff in Toronto initially told him there was a problem with his visa prior to boarding a flight to Dubai, before later returning and telling him that everything was fine.

“The airline acted as a police force instead of an airline,” Karabus added. “I’m also thinking of suing the Canadian company because they claimed they knew nothing about the trial.”

When contacted by Arabian Business, Karabus’s Cape Town lawyer Michael Bagraim said Karabus was in the “process of taking instructions from lawyers both in Cape Town and Canada as to whether we are going to pursue legal action”.

“We have three years in which to pursue the legal action and we wait to see what our legal advice is,” he added.

A spokesperson for Emirates Airline did not immediately respond to Arabian Business’s emailed request for comment on the matter.

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