An elderly doctor who has been detained in the United Arab Emirates since August was found not guilty of manslaughter by an Abu Dhabi judge last Thursday.
Professor Cyril Karabus, who had his trial postponed 15 times, is now waiting for his passport to be returned so he can travel home in time for Pesach. The verdict coincidentally came on South Africa’s human rights day — March 21.
Mr Karabus, from South Africa, was convicted in absentia of manslaughter by a UAE court more than 10 years ago. The prosecution claimed that in 2002 the doctor, who had previously worked in the UAE, had mistreated a terminally ill Yemeni girl who had leukaemia.
Mr Karabus, unaware of his conviction, stopped off in Dubai on August 18 last year as he travelled back to South Africa from his son’s wedding in Toronto. The 78-year-old doctor has been in detained in Abu Dhabi since then.
The court decision came three days after a medical committee found that Professor Karabus had not mistreated the patient.
The lawyer for the Karabus family, Michael Bagraim, said: “The judge said he was absolved entirely and found not guilty. He just walked out of the room.
“[Professor Karabus] was over the moon, shouting and screaming. We are now working on getting his passport back and bringing him home in time for Pesach.
“His wife is still in shock. I told her the news and she said: ‘It’s no joking matter, now tell me the truth’. I eventually had to shout it at her,” added Mr Bagraim.
However, the prosecution has two weeks to launch an appeal and have retained Mr Karabus’s passport. “They’re doing everything in their power to frustrate us," said Mr Bagraim.