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Cape Town - Deputy International Relations Minister Marius Fransman on Thursday visited the family of a South African doctor in detention in the United Arab Emirates.
Fransman briefed them about efforts by the South African government to help Professor Cyril Karabus, spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.
“The deputy minister conveyed to the family that government was taking all the necessary steps to ensure that Karabus receives a fair trial and that such efforts are taking place at a high level.”
Karabus is on trial in the UAE on charges of manslaughter and falsifying documents, for the 2002 death of a girl with leukaemia. While working at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi, Fransman, a paediatrics and medical oncology specialist, operated on the three-year-old girl. She later died of the cancer.
He was sentenced in absentia to three years and six months in jail and required to pay “blood money” to the patient's family.
He was arrested on August 18, while in transit in Dubai to South Africa, after having attended his son's wedding in Toronto, Canada.
Karabus, an emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town, is currently out on bail.
Monyela said his department has rendered extensive consular assistance to Karabus and his family.
“Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has written a letter to her UAE counterpart requesting that authorities deal with the case in an expeditious and fair manner, as it is placing a strain on the existing good relations between South Africa and the UAE in the field of medical co-operation.”
The department had summoned the UAE's ambassador to South Africa to express the government's concerns. - Sapa