SA wants Karabus freed

2013-03-03 21:43

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Johannesburg - South Africa has appealed to the United Arab Emirates to release paediatric oncologist Cyril Karabus on humanitarian grounds, the international relations and co-operation department said on Sunday.

Karabus is an emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town.

Deputy Minister Marius Fransman held bilateral talks with UAE Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Al Hamed during a visit to Abu Dhabi on Sunday, said spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

"Deputy Minister Fransman raised South Africa's concern regarding the delays in finalising the case of  Professor Karabus, his health and the potential of the case causing damage to existing good relations between the two countries," he said in a statement.

"South Africa called on the UAE to allow Prof Karabus to be released on humanitarian grounds due to his age and health."

Karabus, 77, was tried and convicted in absentia in the UAE on charges of manslaughter and falsifying documents, following the death of a 3-year-old cancer patient who was under his care at an Abu Dhabi hospital 12 years ago. He was sentenced, in absentia, to three years in jail.

He was arrested and recharged in Dubai on 18 August, while in transit on his return to South Africa from Toronto, in Canada, where he had attended his son's wedding.

Monyela said that during his visit, Fransman consulted with Karabus about the case and asked about his health and personal circumstances.

The case is due back in court on 20 March. Karabus is currently out on bail in the UAE, but is not allowed to return to South Africa.

The department said the president of the UAE had accepted an invitation extended by President Jacob Zuma last year to visit South Africa and it looked forward to welcoming him.

Monyela said Fransman had emphasised that, notwithstanding the Karabus matter, South Africa and the UAE enjoyed good bilateral relations.

Read more on:    cyril karabus  |  jacob zuma  |  marius fransman  |  uae  |  health

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