South African doctor jailed in UAE

The detention of an elderly doctor travelling through the United Arab Emirates has sparked anger around the world.

Professor Cyril Karabus, from South Africa, was convicted in absentia by a UAE court for the alleged manslaughter of a terminally ill Yemeni girl he treated in the country in 2002.

Unaware of the conviction, Mr Karabus stopped off in Dubai on August 18 this year, on his way back to South Africa from his son’s wedding in Toronto.

The 78-year-old doctor has been in an Abu Dhabi jail since then.

His trial has been postponed several times because lawyers “cannot find” the relevant hospital files.

An Australian campaigner against a new partnership between Qantas and Emirates airlines, in which Dubai will become a new hub for Qantas, picked out the case of Mr Karabus as an argument against the deal.

Australian human rights solicitor Andrew Hamilton wrote a letter to Qantas saying: “This case illustrates a risk to Qantas passenger safety. The UAE is a country that does not maintain the basic standards of rule of law.”

Michael Bagraim, the Karabus family lawyer, said: “The prosecution still… have no evidence. We have medical experts who support the treatment Professor Karabus gave to the patient.”

Last updated: 5:45pm, October 11 2012