Karabus's plight taken to world paediatricians
Supporters and family of South African paediatrician Cyril Karabus, who is facing manslaughter charges in the United Arab Emirates, picketed at the sixth World Congress of Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, in Cape Town, yesterday.
About 100 people - including doctors, nurses, Karabus's children and his wife, Jenifer - protested outside the Cape Town Convention Centre to highlight his plight as delegates gathered for the conference.
Karabus was arrested six months ago in Dubai while in transit to South Africa after attending his son's wedding in Canada.
His arrest was a sequel to an operation he performed on a three-year-old cancer patient while working as a locum in Abu Dhabi in 2002. The child died of leukaemia. Karabus was tried and convicted in absentia of fraud and manslaughter in 2003.
Missing original medical files have delayed the trial, which has been postponed more than 14 times.
The files will exonerate Karabus, according to his legal team. He is out on R250000 bail.
His lawyer, Michael Bagraim, said Karabus will be back in court on February 27. Bagraim said he hoped that the matter would then be thrown out of court.
"We wanted to bring Dr Karabus's troubles to the attention of paediatricians from around the world," said Bagraim.
"They wouldn't let us hand out pamphlets at the conference and so we had to get permission to protest outside."
South Africa asked the UAE government last month to release Karabus on humanitarian grounds.