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March 25, 2013 10:39 am

Jewish South African Doctor “Extremely Pleased” to be Found Not Guilty After 7 Months in UAE Custody

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A recent photo of Dr. Cyril Karabus. Photo: Facebook.

A Jewish South African doctor has been freed by a judge in Abu Dhabi after more than seven months in custody.

Cyril Karabus, a 77 year-old pediatric oncologist, had been detained in the United Arab Emirates in August of last year in connection with the 2003 death of a 3-year-old cancer patient under his care. Unbeknownst to Karabus, who returned to South Africa after the patient’s death, the doctor was charged with manslaughter and falsifying documents, found guilty in absentia and sentenced to three years in prison. Karabus was unaware of the trial or sentence until his arrest at the airport.

After his arrest, he spent nearly seven weeks in prison before being released on bail and confined to house arrest. While groups lobbied for Karabus’s release he went through more than 25 court hearings.

“The ‘not guilty’ verdict of the UAE court on Thursday is about 7 months overdue after close to 20 postponements since his incarceration,” Mike Fisher, an outspoken advocate of Dr. Karabus’s in South Africa who launched a Facebook page to protest his incarceration, told The Algemeiner in an email.

Dr. Karabus may, however, be stuck in Abu Dhabi for some time longer.

“This travesty of justice is, sadly, still ongoing, as the Prof. is still unable to leave the UAE pending the possibility that the prosecution may appeal the “not guilty” verdict,” Fisher said. “Even then, we are told that there is a ‘process’ to be followed in having his passport returned to him…and so the saga still continues.”

Dr. Karabus released a statement Sunday expressing his relief that the episode appeared over. “I am extremely pleased and relieved that my case has finally come to an end and that the UAE Judicial process has found me not guilty,” he said. “The Medical Committee found that I’ve acted correctly in the treatment of my patient and absolved me of any wrongdoing.”

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