Cyril Karabus back in SA tomorrow after ‘frustrating’ visa hitch

2013-05-16 11:10

South African doctor Cyril Karabus is now expected to come home tomorrow after he had problems with his visa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“He missed his flight for today, but his visa is being sorted out. They are filling it out now, and he is going to get it,” his lawyer Michael Bagraim said.

Karabus would catch a direct flight departing early tomorrow morning, UAE time, and would “hopefully arrive back in Cape Town around noon”.

The 78-year-old paediatric oncologist has been detained in the UAE since August 18, after being sentenced in absentia for the death of a Yemeni girl he treated for leukaemia in 2002.

Karabus was acquitted on March 21, and won a subsequent appeal. His return to South Africa was delayed because he was on the UAE’s database as a fugitive from justice.

Karabus then needed to get his passport back from the relevant authorities, but there were administrative delays, which Bagraim said Karabus found “frustrating”.

Yesterday afternoon Karabus received his passport, but his visa was issued with the incorrect date of his entry into the UAE.

This meant that if his passport and visa were compared, it would appear that Karabus had been in the country illegally for a period.

Bagraim said that after the long wait for Karabus’ return, which suffered a number of setbacks, he would wait until the doctor was back in South Africa before he “drew breath”.

“I will believe it when he steps off the plane,” Bagraim said.

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