Breakthrough in Prof Cyril Karabus's case

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pretoria - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says there has been a “strategic breakthrough” in the case of Professor Cyril Karabus.

The department on Tuesday said that a Medical Review Committee that was set up to review the case against Karabus met and it is understood that the committee has absolved Karabus from all blame for the death of his patient.

Karabus, 77, has been in the United Arab Emirates UAE since August when he was arrested while in transit. He was found guilty in absentia in 2003 on charges of manslaughter and fraud following the death of a three-year-old patient he was treating while doing locum work in Abu Dhabi.

Prof Karabus was unaware of the charges and the sentence until he was arrested while transiting through Dubai in August 2012.

Earlier this month, International Relations and Co-operation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman visited the UAE to discuss Karabus’s case with his counterpart there.

“The government of South Africa has since the beginning of this ordeal remained seized with this matter. Over the past few months, it has taken several actions to ensure a speedy resolution of the case,” the department said.

The South African government’s concerns about the case centred on Karabus’s right to a speedy and fair trial, because the case was postponed on 13 occasions due to the inability of the prosecution to present documentary evidence. There were also concerns over the health and age of Karabus, who has a heart condition. 

“We can confirm that the court met today and the report of the Medical Review Committee was presented to the court. Therefore, we envisage that the court is expected to deliver its final verdict on Thursday, 21 March 2013.”

Fransman also spoke to Prof Karabus and his legal team this morning. –