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The fate of Cape Town professor Cyril Karabus will “hopefully” be decided on Monday, after several postponements and delays.
His manslaughter case in Abu Dhabi was postponed, yet again, on Christmas Day.
Specialist paediatric oncologist, Karabus, 77, has been detained in Abu Dhabi for four months, awaiting trial for charges of manslaughter and falsifying documents after more than nine postponements due to missing medical records, which surfaced this week.
He has a pacemaker.
Karabus is expected to appear in court on Monday.
The emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT) was arrested on August 18 while in transit in Dubai to South Africa from his son’s wedding in Toronto, Canada.
While working as a locum 12 years ago, at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi, Karabus operated on a seven-year-old cancer patient who later died of myeloid leukaemia.
He was tried and convicted in absentia in the UAE and sentenced to three years and six months in jail.
His sentence included the payment of about R230 000 “blood money” – to the victim’s family.
Karabus’s lawyer Michael Bagraim told the Cape Argus on Wednesday that although the medical file proved that his client was innocent without any reasonable doubt, they might face another postponement on Monday.
He said the medical records received from the prosecutor only contained photocopied papers, and that the judge had insisted on original copies.
“This may cause another postponement. We suspect the constant delays are politically motivated,” Bagraim said.
The prosecutor argued that Karabus failed to administer a blood transfusion to the patient, causing her death. But Bagraim is confident that the medical file proved that a blood transfusion had been given.
“We can’t think of any legal reasons that might be the cause of all these postponements… we have complied with every legal requirement,” he said.
A petition running on avaaz.org in support of Karabus’s release currently has 11 664 names.