|Prof. Karabus in a friend's Abu Dhabi |
apartment this month [Image Source]
The background: this is about a distinguished medical specialist in his late seventies, emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town, who until his retirement spent years as head of the Oncology and Hematology unit at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Capetown, South Africa.
He was arrested in August when he and family members passed through the glitzy Dubai airport transit terminal en route home to SA after taking part in a son's wedding in Canada. That was when he first learned that he had been secretly indicted a decade earlier over the death of a terminally-ill child patient during a brief locum he had done in an Emirate hospital. He had never been notified of the charges, nor of the conviction, and had obviously never been given the opportunity to defend himself. His conviction was set aside in August after some legal argument by his counsel, and the charges almost immediately reinstated. He is now on trial for manslaughter and forgery in an Abu Dhabi Sharia court. During the first eight weeks and one day of this sordid affair, he was locked up in a cell in the notorious Emirates prison called Al Wathba before finally being allowed out on bail (after multiple refusals) and on condition he pay a hefty security deposit to the authorities, which he did. He is now forbidden from leaving the UAE.
Today (Tuesday), an Abu Dhabi news report says
After weeks of delay, vital medical records in the case of manslaughter brought against a South African paediatric oncologist have finally been presented to court. Dr Cyril Karabus and his lawyers, Mohamed Al Sawan and Khalfan Al Kaabi, have long insisted the full medical history of the three-year-old Yemeni cancer patient be made available... Prosecutors had previously claimed the file did not exist, but today presented a second file of notes they now say was overlooked... The last party to hold the file was public prosecution, the judge said. He asked that they find the and present it to the court at the next hearing... The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court will reconvene on January 3.We will post additional details as this United Arab Emirates nightmare continues to unfold.
Meanwhile, there's some sound advice in this South African Medical Association article for people traveling to the United Arab Emirates "in the naive belief that similar human rights protections to those they knew at home" will apply to them. It's information that Qantas might consider passing along to its passengers and customers.