Tuesday, April 09, 2013

9-Apr-13: Justice, United Arab Emirates style: The outrageous saga continues

An online South African news site, The Daily Maverick, reports ["Karabus family facing massive financial toll"] on how the astonishing case of the distinguished and retired pediatric specialist Prof. Cyril Karabus was looking this morning. Some excerpts:
  • "When Karabus appears in court on Tuesday [today], it is unclear what arguments the prosecution will mount in order to appeal his acquittal – particularly given that the medical committee which examined the case exonerated Karabus of any wrongdoing. “We didn’t realise that there was any basis for an appeal,” Karabus’s daughter Sarah told the Daily Maverick on Monday. “Of course they have the legal right to appeal. But because they won’t tell us what the basis for the appeal is, we can’t prepare any defence until we hear it in court for the first time.”
  • "Every day that Karabus remains in the UAE, the cost to his family mounts. “The bills have been over the R2 million mark now,” Sarah Karabus confirmed on Monday. [We estimate that to be about US $225,000 - TOW]... The major part of the detained doctor’s costs are his legal fees, but everyday living expenses in the UAE – where Karabus has been staying with another South African doctor since his release on bail in October –  are also very high.
  • "The reason why Karabus took a brief locum shift at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi was that a career spent working in South Africa’s public health system had left him in poor financial shape for his future. For many years, Karabus led the unit of paediatric oncology at Cape Town’s Red Cross Children’s Hospital. He was “very much at the forefront of accessing treatment for South African and African children who needed it”, former colleague Professor Heather Zar told the Daily Maverick last November. “He’s an extremely frugal man. He’s barely bought a new pair of shoes in 15 years,” Sarah Karabus said.
  • "When Karabus appears in court on Tuesday, there are a number of potential outcomes. There may be some kind of postponement or delay, as has happened on numerous occasions in the Karabus case before. If the prosecution presents the evidence for an appeal, the defence may have a turn to rebut, or the judge may simply decide to throw the matter out. Sarah Karabus said on Monday that her father was hopeful of the latter.
So here's what happened today.
Prosecution appeal of UAE cancer doctor acquittal delayed  Haneen Dajani | The National [Abu Dhabi] Apr 9, 2013 | The prosecution appeal against the acquittal of Doctor Cyril Karabus was today delayed at the first hearing. The case has been adjourned until April 23 as no medical translator was present at the Appeals Court today... The reason why prosecutors have appealed the acquittal was not mentioned.
If you have not heard about this infuriating abuse of law and judicial power, please start reading at "8-Apr-13: Medical professionals thinking of working in the world's most expensive open-air prison may want to think again" and work backwards via the links we provide there. 

The things that continue to be done to Prof. Karabus - the victim of an opaque legal system and wrongfully held in the UAE for more than eight months - hold lessons that deserve the widest exposure. That's a point that the World Medical Association's head, in a new article called "Just Delayed, Justice Denied – Again: The Case of Cyril Karabus" makes today forcefully and well.

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