Last minute hitch for doctor cleared of UAE manslaughter

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A doctor cleared of manslaughter charges in the UAE dating back to a decade ago has faced a last minute administrative hitch in his bid to fly back to his native South Africa.

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, 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.

Karabus had been due to fly home this week, but the visa he was issued by UAE authorities was incorrectly dated, according to Cape Town’s Independent newspaper. Karabus had initially been made to wait two weeks to have his passport returned.

His lawyer, however, expects that Karabus will be back in South Africa later on Thursday. “There is a seat for him on a flight tomorrow morning (Thursday), which will have him back in Cape Town by tomorrow afternoon,” Michael Bagraim was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

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