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Bagraim brings a world of
pain down on Emirates
Another MyShtetl EXCLUSIVE SCOOP!
By: ANT KATZ
As legal avenues are increasingly being closed on Cape Town Prof Cyril Karabus as a result of the illegal actions of the UAE authorities, his lawyer Michael Bagraim has shifted focus in the fight for justice - to a global stage that includes this week’s Davos conference as well as international sporting and medical bodies and even conference organisers. And it seems to paying off.
Last week MyShtetl reported on 4 DAYS OF DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENTS, followed up by an EXCLUSIVE SCOOP about the “illegal quagmire” Karabus found himself in due to the flagrant disregard for even their own laws by the Abu Dhabi Emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Today, MyShtetl is able to reveal EXCLUSIVELY how the fight for justice for the Prof has now had to change course. This after MyShtetl last week revealed that the UAE Attorney-General was illegally keeping the ailing Prof Karabus in the country. His wife, Jenny, has again flown to Abu Dhabi to be at his side.
Karabus’ local attorney, Michael Bagraim, says he has no doubt that the original medical records are not going to surface. These are significant as the specialist paediatric oncologist says they will exonerate him of the wrongful death case against him.
Another reason the file is significant is that the judge has made clear to the prosecution that he will not allow them to proceed against the Prof without the records - and the judge has now asked the Attorney-General to release Karabus.
Bagraim ‘ups the ante’ for Karabus
The legal team has come to the realisation that “it is a game that they are playing,” says Bagraim, and that there is a danger of the Attorney-General (AG) trying to keep Prof Karabus in Abu Dhabi for as long as possible to ‘punish’ him.
So, says Karabus’ truculent lawyer, “We have decided that we need to up the ante from our side.”
And that is exactly what he is doing. “We are obviously exploring many other avenues,” he says, among them are diplomatic efforts, financial approaches at this week’s Davos conference in Switzerland, increasing pressure from global sporting and medical associations and pressure from international conference organisers.
DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS Cape Town newspapers are this week reporting that the deputy minister of international affairs and cooperation Marius Fransman is planning to travel to Abu Dhabi, having has met with the UAE Ambassador last Friday.
This diplomatic effort was reported on last Wednesday by MyShtetl. The SA Government called in the Ambassador of the UAE and issued him with a démarche – a strong diplomatic protest – over the matter some weeks ago and Fransman met the Ambassador again last Friday promising that if there was no indication of progress he would be travelling with a delegation to Abu Dhabi with due haste.
The minister of international affairs and cooperation also addressed a harshly-worded letter to her counterpart in the UAE some weeks ago.Don’t miss last week’s scoop on Karabus’ legal status:
PROF STUCK IN ILLEGAL QUAGMIRE
Stuck “in a physical and psychological desert”
There is little doubt that the urgency and adamancy with which the SA Government is addressing the issue is in no small way due to outside diplomatic appeals which were initiated by Bagraim’s efforts on behalf of his client.
DAVOS It is believed that both the Sheikh and the Crown Prince – together with Abu Dhabi government officials - will be attending the annual financial summit in Davos, Switzerland from Thursday this week.
“We have asked certain individuals going to Davos to put pressure on the Abu Dhabi government when they meet up with them,” says Bagraim.
For this reason, says Michael Bagraim, he is urgently trying to make contact with minister Fransman to ensure that he does not travel to Abu Dhabi (see above) while the Sheikh and the Crown Prince are out of country.
SPORTING BODIES “We are now targeting sporting bodies,” says Bagraim who has personally written to most of the world sporting federations. The various Emirates that make up the UAE have for several years very successfully been marketing themselves strongly as a destination for major sports tournaments.
This is part of a larger strategy to grow tourism in the region – as is their huge investment in airlines and their strategy to only use the hub-to-destination route. This, too, would be be coming under threat as word of karabus’ nightmare spreads.
“We are aware that many sports tournaments are held in Abu Dhabi and we have been contacting various officials from future sport tournaments which are destined to take place in Abu Dhabi,” he explains. “We are trying to put pressure on these sporting codes to either cancel their arrangements with Abu Dhabi or to at least raise the issue when they are there.”
Bagraim has had some response from this avenue. One of the major sports federations, which he didn’t want to name at this stage, “are planning a major sporting event there later this this year.” They wrote to Bagraim and subsequently phoned him, and have decided to take the question of human rights to their decision-making body before taking a decision in this regard.
Apart from the possible financial ramifications of losing sports events, says Bagraim, he believes that the Crown Prince is a sports-lover himself.
MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS Michael Bagraim’s intervention in trying to bring pressure to bear on the Emirates showed its first clear success several weeks ago when, first the South African Medical Association and shortly thereafter those of other countries, and even the World Medical Association began are demanding action from the UAE and actively warning their members of the danger of working in the various Emirates.
Since the Karabus fiasco, numerous heath care professionals worldwide have been coming out, literally daily, and telling their own stories of similar nightmares they have been through. Last week another SA doctor posted a comment on MyShtetl telling of his similar experience.
This is a major threat to the UAE Emirates where, according to Bagraim’s latest estimates, some 98 percent of health professionals are expats! The countries have no medical training facilities and almost all health care is managed by contracted practitioners.
Those locals who do study medicine, nursing and other therapeutic treatments outside of the UAE seldom return to work there, says Bagraim.
BUSINESSES AND CONFERENCING Similarly, one of the other major marketing strategies of the UAE Emirates is to pitch for major international conferences to grow their visitor numbers.
Not only in the fields of big oil and gas and other areas where they, themselves have expertise, but to major conferencing across the board.
Here, too, Bagraim is communicating with major conference organisers and asking them to consider not using the region – or at least raising concerns with the authorities there. This strategy has worked well with sporting bodies and the medical fraternities – so there is no reason it shouldn’t bring further pressure to bear from the conferencing sector.
FOLLOW THE STORY ON MY SHTETL
2 October Prof Cyril stuck in Arab jail - Bagraim, Price, DIRCO rally to help Breaking story – By: ANT KATZ
6 November Sharia, the nemesis of justice West must draw a line - Opinion - By: BEN LEVITAS
18 November “Things not going well at all” says Sarah Karabus Travesty to play out Tues? - By: ANT KATZ
21 November Sharia law can exploit foreign workers Opinion - By: BEN LEVITAS
30 December Now SA Gov’t takes on UAE By: ANT KATZ – 2012 TOP READ STORY
3 January Prof remanded for 13th time By: ANT KATZ
7 January Karabus decision hangs in air By: ANT KATZ
8 January SA Muslims plead for Prof’s release By: ANT KATZ
13 January 4 days of dramatic developments By: ANT KATZ
16 January ”Stuck in an illegal quagmire By: ANT KATZ
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