WMA calls for a Fair Trial for Professor Karabus

(19.11.2012) The World Medical Association has urged the Government of the United Arab Emirates to ensure a fair trial when the South African paediatric haematologist Prof. Cyril Karabus returns to court on Tuesday.

The 78-year-old doctor was arrested in August in relation to the death of a child under his care in the UAE in 2002 and is facing a charge of manslaughter.

Dr. Cecil Wilson, President of the WMA, said: ‘We are very concerned that Prof. Karabus should have a fair trial by international standards. That means that his defence team must be given full access to all the evidence against him, which at the moment appears not to be the case. We are now asking the authorities in Abu Dhabi to ensure that all the relevant papers are made available to Prof. Karabus.'

Last month, the WMA General Assembly adopted an emergency resolution expressing its concern, after being told that a child with an acute leukaemia had been under Professor Karabus's care when he briefly worked in the UAE 10 years ago and had died. Prof. Karabus had returned to South Africa, and unknown to him a charge of murder was brought against him. While he was travelling through Dubai in August this year he was arrested and imprisoned. The charge was reduced to manslaughter and after six court appearances he was eventually bailed.

A medical panel is now due to review the case next week. 

Full text of Resolution: http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/k2/index.html