Abu Dhabi, UAE: A doctor accused of fleeing the UAE after causing the death of a child through medical negligence has appeared before an Abu Dhabi court.
The 78-year-old South African paediatrician, Seril Karapose, allegedly left the country two years ago after failing to treat a nine-year-old Yemeni girl who was in need of a blood transfusion.
He was previously tried in absentia and sentenced to three years and six months in jail and ordered to pay Dh200,000 blood money.
The defendant was recently arrested at Abu Dhabi Airport trying to re-enter the country and authorities decided he should face a re-trial to present his defence. During the first hearing of the retrial at Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance on Thursday, the doctor denied charges of negligence and forgery. He told the court he was not aware there were any charges against him.
“I had left the country when my previous contract ended,” testified the doctor, adding that he returned to the UAE willingly. “No one told me I was accused of anything.”
He said in court that he was returning to the capital on a three-month visit visa to conduct special duties at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City. During the doctor’s original trial, prosecutors told the court that the girl was in need of an urgent blood transfusion and that she was not treated because the hospital didn’t have supplies of her blood type.
Prosecutors claimed the doctor forged a document claiming the transfusion had taken place when it had not, leading to the girl’s death.
His lawyer requested a professional English translator who is well versed with the medical language to interpret the doctor’s statements in court. At the original trial, the court had sentenced the man to six months in jail for negligence and three years for forgery.
© Gulf NewsOct 2012