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Cape Town - The daughters of Cape Town doctor Cyril Karabus, who has now been held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for seven months, said on Monday it had been agonising without their father.
Sarah and Deborah Karabus joined more than 50 supporters of Karabus on Monday at a protest outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where the World Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Congress started.
“It’s been hard on us as a family not having our father around. He is ageing and there has been problems with his health during the whole process,” Sarah Karabus said.
Deborah said: “It’s difficult for the family because he is not here and we don’t know how serious his condition is in the UAE.
“We came out to raise awareness about our dad’s case with the international doctors and medical experts at the centre. I want my father released from the UAE,” she said.
Karabus, 77, a retired paediatric oncologist was arrested in August after being sentenced in absentia to a three-and-a-half-year jail term in 2004, on charges related to manslaughter. It is alleged Karabus failed to give a three-year-old patient suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia a blood transfusion, and falsified medical records to make it appear as if he did while he worked as a locum in the UAE in 2002.
His trial, which has been plagued by several delays and postponements has resulted in Karabus being under house arrest for almost six months.
Karabus was due to appear in front of a special medical council last week, but the hearing was postponed minutes before his appearance.
He is now due to appear before a medical council on Wednesday, his local lawyer, Michael Bagraim, said on Monday.
Karabus would also appear in an Abu Dhabi court on February 27, Bagraim said.
He was confident the charges against Karabus would be dropped.
“The evidence against my client is not good. The fact that he was also given a second chance to appear before a medical council, is a good sign,” Bagraim said.
Bagraim lashed out against the tardy response by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, saying they “could have been more robust in handling the case”. It was unacceptable that the department was only expected to send officials to the UAE in coming weeks, he said.