Family of UAE doctor accused of manslaughter meets government officials

Family members of Professor Cyril Karabus met the deputy international relations and cooperation minister in Cape Town to discuss the case.

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ABU DHABI // Relatives of a South African doctor accused of manslaughter over the death of a three-year-old cancer patient have met a government official in their home country to discuss the case.

The Criminal Court is considering whether Professor Cyril Karabus, 77, a paediatric oncologist, was responsible for the death of a Yemeni girl by failing to give her a blood transfusion while he was working at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. He denies the charge.

Members of his family met Marius Fransman, the deputy international relations and cooperation minister, in Cape Town.

Mr Fransman said the South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi was continuing to provide Prof Karabus with consular support.

He said it was not possible for South Africa to influence or interfere with the judicial process in another country, but his government would continue to pursue the matter until it was resolved.

The South African government has called on the UAE to bring the case to a conclusion as quickly as possible.

Mr Fransman's boss, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the international relations and cooperation minister, has written to her counterpart in the UAE requesting that the case be dealt with in a speedy and fair manner. She said it was placing strain on the good relations between the countries.

The UAE ambassador to South Africa has been summoned to hear ministers' concerns.

Prof Karabus's relatives said after the meeting that they hoped for a speedy resolution so he could return to South Africa.

Prof Karabus left the UAE after the girl's death in 2002 and was sentenced in absentia to three years for forgery and one year for manslaughter and ordered to pay blood money of Dh100,000.

He was arrested while transiting through Dubai last August and was granted a retrial.