South African court rejects Basson's discharge application

A South African court rejected an application for a discharge on four charges of professional misconduct submitted by Dr. Walter Basson, a leader of the nation's apartheid-era biological weapons program.

Basson, the former head of the military's chemical and biological warfare division, is accused of developing viruses that would only infect black people. If convicted Basson could be stripped of his medical license, according to the BBC.

South Africa's Health Professions Council granted Basson, who has been called "Dr. Death," a discharge on two of the charges against him and a part of a third. The remaining four charges are scheduled to be heard later this year.

Basson, who is currently a cardiologist in Cape Town, successfully defeated criminal charges brought against him in 2002 by arguing that he was acting under the orders of the South African Defense Force.

The HPC is currently trying to determine whether or not Basson should have his license stripped for providing soldiers with cyanide capsules, weaponizing thousands of mortar shells with tear gas and administering disorienting drugs to SADF prisoners.

"I closed this chapter 20 years ago," Basson said last year outside the HPC's Pretoria headquarters, the BBC reports. "All I want is to continue serving the country as a medical professional."