ABU DHABI — A criminal case against a South African doctor accused of manslaughter over the death of a three-year-old cancer patient remains deadlocked as the court waits for submissions from a medical committee.
The committee was assigned by the criminal court to decide whether the paediatric oncologist Cyril Karabus was responsible for the death of a Yemeni girl by failing to give her a blood transfusion.
However, on Thursday it failed for a second time to present its findings. The court’s judge said that no progress could be made in the case until the report was ready. He then told Prof Karabus, who is in his 70s and in poor health, that — considering his condition — he would not be required to attend any further hearings until progress had been made and the court was ready to hear the defence’s presentation. The professor said he was suffering from a heart condition.
The defence has previously demanded to see the original hospital files from Sheikh Khalifa Medical City relating to the girl’s death in October 2002, complaining that the case files were blank after July 31 of that year.
They say the files are vital to proving the professor’s innocence.
Previously the judge had said the court would first wait to hear from the medical committee before requesting the files.
However, on Thursday the judge ordered the public prosecution to seek the original files. The prosecutor present said that this might take a long time as the files are more than 10 years old.
Prof Karabus’ lawyer Mohamed Al Sawan insisted the files were necessary to his case.
The professor said that the delay in obtaining the medical files, which the defence first requested on October 11, was violating his human rights. He said he had spent eight weeks in prison over "insulting charges" of manslaughter and forgery and that he had colleagues around the world who were positive of his innocence.
In addition to failing to give the patient a blood transfusion, the professor is accused of covering up his mistake by forging a report to make it look as though the transfusion had taken place.
The professor is currently out of jail, having posted 100,000 dirhams bail.
The case was adjourned to December 13.
• By arrangement from The National