SA requests Cyril Karabus be released

SA’s International relations dept. appeals to the UAE to let Professor Cyril Karabus come home.

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 - The Department of International Relations has confirmed that an appeal to have Cape Town professor Cyril Karabus released from prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) formed part of bilateral talks between Deputy Minister Marius Fransman and the UAE secretary of foreign affairs.

The 77-year-old paediatric oncologist was tried, convicted and sentenced in absentia to a three-and-a-half-year jail term in 2004, on charges of manslaughter and falsifying documents following the death of a three-year-old cancer patient who was under his care 12 years ago.

He was arrested and recharged last year while travelling to South Africa from Canada, where he was attending his son's wedding.

Karabus is currently out on bail, but is not allowed to return to South Africa.

He is due back in court on the 20 March.

The department's Clayson Monyela said Fransman consulted with Karabus during his Abu Dhabi visit.

"The deputy minister raised the country's concern regarding the delays and finalising of the case, Karabus' health and the fact that he is contesting the circumstances under which he was convicted. Fransman called on the UAE for the Cape Town professor to be released."

Meanwhile, Karabus' supporters staged a protest last month outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) during an international paediatric conference being held at the same venue.

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.