Karabus supporters picket outside CTICC

Cyril Karabus’ friends and family in Cape Town staged a protest in support of the doctor’s release.

Supporters of Doctor Cyril Karabus, who faces manslaughter charges in the UAE, picketed outside the CTICC on 18 February 2013. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Supporters of a Cape Town doctor who is being detained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday staged a protest.

The picket outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) took place during an international paediatric conference being held at the same venue.

Doctor Cyril Karabus (77) was arrested and sentenced in absentia to a three-and-a-half-year jail term in 2004, on charges related to manslaughter.

But he was only arrested in August 2012, at the Dubai airport.

It is alleged he failed to give a three-year-old patient who had been suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia a blood transfusion, and falsified medical records to make it appear as if he did while he worked as a locum in the UAE in 2002.

Dressed in white t-shirts with a slogan reading "Free Doctor Karabus", the protesters gathered outside the centre in a bid to attract international attention to his case.

His trial, which has been plagued by several delays and postponements has resulted in Karabus being under house arrest for almost six months

Last week, the pediatric oncologist was due to appear in front of a special medical council, but it was postponed a few minutes ahead of his appearance.

Karabus' lawyer Michael Bagraim said his client will appear in a UAE court later this month and is confident the charges against him will be dropped.

However, the doctor's wife Jennifer is not as optimistic.

She said it was hard to keep hopeful with all the postponements and questioned if it would be any different the next time around.