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Cape Town doctor Professor Cyril Karabus, who has been held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 168 days, will have to wait another month before the case against him resumes.
On day his wife, Jenifer Karabus, who arrived back in Cape Town a few days ago after visiting him, described him as “a bowed man”.
“He’s a man with a lot of bravado. He’s very powerful in his profession. He finds it very difficult to take a submissive role...
“He’s pretending to be in control. But he’s a bowed man. This is killing him,” she said.
Because his passport had been confiscated, his movements were restricted. Jenifer said her husband was not allowed to work while he was in the UAE so had to simply wait for the case to proceed.
She said she had earlier been on Skype with Karabus and he had told her “some pretty bad news” – the medical committee was only expected to meet again on February 13.
On Wednesday Karabus’s local lawyer, Michael Bagraim, said that, after 16 postponements, the case had now been postponed to February 27.
He said on this day it was expected that a judge would:
* Withdraw a fraud charge against Karabus. The prosecution had requested this.
Bagraim said the fraud charge, that related to alleged forgery and the falsification of a hospital file, was the main charge and had resulted in a three-year prison sentence.
* Hear the defence ask that the second charge Karabus faced, that of manslaughter, also be withdrawn.
Bagraim said it was “shocking” that Karabus would have to wait about a month.
However, he said it was better than the situation they had been in before – when no date had been set for the case.
Karabus, 77, a retired paediatric oncologist, has been in the UAE since August.
He was arrested while in transit through Dubai and released on bail in October.
He had been tried in absentia and convicted of manslaughter and falsifying documents after the death of a three-year-old in 2002 at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre, Abu Dhabi, where he had been working as a locum. He was sentenced to the three years in jail in absentia.
Earlier this month South Africa sent a démarche – a strong protest – to the UAE government calling for the case against Karabus to be expedited. International Relations and Co-operation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman previously told the Cape Times he was following up on the matter.
However, the Cape Times could not reach him for comment on Wednesday.