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Cape Town - Marius Fransman is expected to leave the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday after meeting government officials there in a bid to secure retired Cape Town specialist Cyril Karabus’s release.
The deputy minister of international relations and co-operation travelled to the UAE late last week and met Karabus.
Fransman had discussed Karabus’s case with UAE government officials on Sunday, department spokesman Clayson Monyela said.
He said Fransman would leave the UAE and return to South Africa on Monday.
Karabus, 77, a retired paediatric oncologist, has been held in the UAE for more than six months in connection with the death of a patient after being sentenced in absentia to three years in jail.
His case was to have proceeded last week, but was postponed to March 20.
The Department of International Relations and Co-operation said while in the UAE, Fransman was expected to raise the South Africa government’s concerns about:
* Karabus’s health, which had deteriorated since his arrest.
* The delays in the case. Karabus’s case had been postponed last week because a medical committee tasked with probing the case failed to provide its report.
* The potential damage Karabus’s case could do to the “good relationship” between South Africa and the UAE because of “the negative public perceptions in South Africa about the matter”.
In January, the South African government tried to secure Karabus’s release. It issued a démarche or strong protest to the UAE government calling for the case to be expedited.
The case against Karabus has made international headlines, with the world, British and South African medical associations commenting on it.
An article on the British Medical Association’s website said that after each postponement of his case, Karabus had learnt from newspaper reports when the next court date would be as he had not been formally told.
Karabus was convicted in absentia of homicide and falsifying documents after the death of a three-year-old in 2000 at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi, where he had been a locum.