The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates is closely following the case of Professor Cyril Karabus, the South African oncologist accused of causing a young girl’s death in 2000 by failing to give her a blood transfusion whilst undergoing treatment at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. Professor Karabus is also accused of forging a medical report. Professor Karabus was originally tried in absentia in 2004 and found guilty. Following his arrest that original ruling was overturned in order that he stand trial in person.
An outstanding warrant for arrest was served against Professor Karabus whilst he was transiting through Dubai on 18 August 2012. Having posted surety of AED 100,000, he is currently residing with friends in Abu Dhabi and is not detained in custody. However he is not permitted to leave the country until the completion of the trial.
The case against Professor Karabus was scheduled to reconvene on 3rd January 2013, but has been postponed to allow for the completion of an expert medical review of the complex case. That review is being conducted by the Higher Medical Committee, a sub-committee of the UAE Supreme Court. A new trial date was set on 29 January 2013.
As is the case in South Africa, the judicial process in the United Arab Emirates is independently and wholly overseen and managed by the Federal Supreme Court. The Government of the United Arab Emirates cannot and does not interfere in the independent judicial process.
The UAE Constitution states that: “All persons are equal before the law, without distinction between citizens of the Federation in regard to race, nationality, religious belief and social status”. Professor Karabus will be tried on this basis and in accordance with international standards.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE will continue to keep South African Authorities up to date with developments regarding this matter
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs understands the difficulties involved for the family of any person who is on trial, especially when a trial is taking place in a country that is not their own. However, it is imperative that the proper judicial process is followed.