Talks for Karabus's return

2013-04-24 20:21

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Johannesburg - There are "intense" talks taking place around the return of South African doctor Cyril Karabus from the United Arab Emirates, an official said on Wednesday.

"There are currently intense engagements taking place on the eminent return of professor Karabus," international relations spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said.

Earlier in the day, it emerged that an UAE judge had decided to turn down the State's appeal against Karabus's acquittal last month.

"The South African government has today, 24 April, learned of the current developments in the case of Professor Cyril Karabus and calls on the media and the public to refrain from speculating on the outcome of the process."

Kgwete said the government and the family and friends of Karabus remained "very hopeful" and they would continue to monitor the developments around the case.

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

Shock

He was acquitted on 21 March, but was not allowed to leave the country pending the appeal.

Karabus's lawyer, Michael Bagraim, said the doctor was in "a bit of shock" after he heard of the acquittal.

"The doctor is not feeling good. He is in a bit of shock as the decision took him by surprise," said Bagraim.

"His health is not that good so Karabus is lying down after hearing the good news."

Bagraim said the appeal was heard on Tuesday and the judge indicated the verdict would be on Monday, 29 April.

The court phoned the attorneys in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday morning to say the judge reached a decision and wanted to deliver it earlier.

"The judge decided to not grant the State's appeal and said Karabus is not guilty on all the charges," Bagraim said.

The prosecution had 30 days to bring a new appeal, he said.

"We are asking them not to launch an appeal."

Bagraim said the attorneys in Abu Dhabi met with prosecutors on Wednesday.

The South African Embassy staff in Abu Dhabi regularly visited Karabus and had been in regular contact with the foreign affairs minister of the UAE, Kgwete said.

"The South African government reiterates its call for calm on this matter until the judicial process has been concluded," he said.

Read more on:    cyril karabus  |  uae

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