Karabus set to return home

2013-05-14 15:07

United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials have handed back South African doctor Cyril Karabus’ passport, the international relations department has said.

Spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the passport was handed to the SA embassy around noon today.

The UAE interior department also issued a letter which would allow Karabus to leave the region.

“The SA Embassy in the UAE will tomorrow morning assist Prof Karabus to obtain the exit visa from the UAE, in view of the fact that the relevant office in the UAE was already closed at the time of receiving his passport,” said Monyela.

He said Karabus would be assisted with travel arrangements to return to South Africa within the next two days.

“The South African government is glad that the ordeal that Prof Karabus has suffered during the last few months is nearing its end, and looks forward to welcoming him back to South Africa.”

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, but his return to South Africa was delayed because he was on the UAE’s database as a fugitive from justice.

His bail money of R250 000 was recently returned to him.

Last week, his lawyer Michael Bagraim told the Cape Town Press Club that his client’s ordeal was largely due to the UAE trying to “save face”.

“This is not a legal exercise. It’s fortunately, or unfortunately, been a political exercise,” Bagraim said at the time.

He was not immediately available for comment today.

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