“Murderer, murderer! You are under arrest.”
The shock of being arrested at Dubai Airport was almost too much for the ailing 77-year-old Professor Cyril Karabus, a world-renowned paediatric oncologist en route home to Cape Town with his wife and family after attending his son’s wedding in Toronto.
Without his knowledge, Prof Karabus had been tried in absentia in 2004 in Abu Dhabi and found guilty of manslaughter after the death of a three-year-old Yemeni girl who had died from acute myeloblastic leukaemia. Prof Karabus had served a locum in the United Arab Emirates in 2002 when this death occurred. Charges were trumped up against him by the child’s father, who demanded blood money – which, according to Sharia law, is only payable after a criminal conviction – despite the fact that the girl was not even Prof Karabus’s patient.
This is the engrossing story of Cyril Karabus’s fight to prove his innocence and secure his release from jail in the UAE, where he was confined for nine months. It also lifts the lid on all the extraordinary behind-the-scenes attempts and manoeuvres to free the doctor.