Karabus 'on edge'

South Africa
Cyril Karabus was arrested at the Dubai international airport while in transit on his return to South Africa from Toronto, in Canada, where he had attended his son's wedding. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Retired Cape Town doctor Cyril Karabus is "on edge" and is said to be extremely depressed after another court delay in his United Arab Emirates (UAE) trial.

"We had been told by our lawyers that the prosecution wasn't keen on pursuing this," said lawyer Michael Bagraim.

"But then the judge ruled, out of the blue, that the medical translator was not present and so postponed the matter until April 23.

"Dr Karabus is now suffering from extreme depression. I'm having doubts about how much more he can take."

The paediatric oncologist (78) was due to have been released after the legal case against him was dropped in the UAE last month.

He was acquitted of manslaughter and of falsifying documents after the death of a three-year-old Yemeni girl he treated for leukaemia in 2002.

However, Karabus was recently informed that the decision to free him would be taken on appeal.

SA Medical Association vice-chairman Mark Sonderup told the newspaper that the doctor's treatment "is now bordering on torture".

"It's time the global community started turning its attention on the UAE and surrounding countries. In this case you have a country acting with complete impunity," he said.

The specialist was apprehended at Dubai International Airport in August last year on a trip to another country.

He has spent more than seven months in various prisons across the Arab country while seeking legal recourse that would lead to his return home.

-Additional reporting Sapa

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