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Karabus case reaches final stretch

The CT doctor who was held in the UAE on criminal charges is one step closer to returning.

Professor Cyril Karabus, held in the UAE on criminal charges from over a decade ago, is one step closer to returning to South Africa. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town doctor Cyril Karabus' lawyers are expecting the criminal charges against him to officially be dropped when he appears in an Abu Dhabi court on Thursday.

The 77-year-old paediatric oncologist was convicted in absentia of manslaughter and forgery following the death of a young cancer patient he treated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) more than a decade ago.

He was arrested in August while travelling from Canada to South Africa. UAE officials arrested him while in transit at a Dubai airport.

But there has been a breakthrough in Karabus' case this week.

A medical review committee in the UAE recently found that Karabus was not to blame for the death of the young cancer patient he treated.

His lawyer Michael Bagraim expects the case to be officially dropped.

"They will be announcing whether they accept this medical report or not. It does appear that this will be accepted. The politicians seem to have accepted this."

Karabus has not been allowed to leave the UAE despite numerous delays in his trial.

The doctor says he feels vindicated.

"I'm very pleased to know that this medical review board agrees he died of leukaemia. I feel fantastic because of that [the board's decision]."

It could still take up to a week before he returns home.

South Africa has repeatedly called on authorities to allow him to return home on humanitarian grounds.