September 2012 Family handout picture of Prof Cyril Karabus currently in jail in Dubai. He was tried and sentenced in abstentia, without knowing anything about it.


The decision on whether or not to prosecute Cape Town doctor Professor Cyril Karabus, 77, is likely to go before the Abu Dhabi attorney-general on Sunday.

Karabus was last in court on Wednesday, for his 13th appearance, following his arrest in August 2012 on charges of manslaughter and falsifying documents.

The charges against Karabus, a retired paediatric oncologist and a professor emeritus at UCT, relate to the death of three-year-old Sarah Adel Abdulla, whom he treated for acute myeloid leukaemia in 2000 while doing a locum at the Sheikh Khalifa Medication Centre in Abu Dhabi.

Karabus was later tried and found guilty in absentia. However, his lawyers were able to overturn the conviction on the grounds that he had no knowledge of the charges or conviction, and had not been able to defend himself. He was recharged following his arrest. On Wednesday the matter was again postponed as the prosecutors have yet to provide the child’s medical records, which would prove or disprove their case.

Karabus’s attorney, Michael Bagraim, said the judge had indicated that Wednesday’s postponement would be the last. The prosecution was given two court days to produce the child’s file to the attorney-general, who would then make the decision whether or not to proceed with the prosecution.

The file includes Karabus’s notes, lab reports, and details of the three-week period before he started treating the girl.

“We consider this an empty prosecution,” Bagraim said. - Sunday Tribune