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Wouter Basson, the spy and mastermind behind the apartheid government's chemical warfare programme, claimed on Friday that the United States had used hallucinogenic weapons against Iraq during the Gulf War.
Basson told the Pretoria High Court television footage shot during the war in 1991 clearly showed that elite Iraqi troops who surrendered en masse were under the influence of hallucinogens.
He said their faces were expressionless, their pupils were dilated and they were drooling at the mouth - typical side effects of a particularly dangerous type of hallucinogenic drug.
Basson was testifying about the destruction in 1993 of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, Mandrax and Ecstasy, which the South African army had obtained for use in crowd control, but needed to get rid of as the apartheid era drew to a close.
Analysis of video material showing surrendering (Iraqi) troops emerging from their underground bunkers show that they had dilated pupils, were drooling and had vacant stares," he told the court."
It appeared like the clinical profile of a BZ variant. The variant was also tested in laboratory animals in South Africa but it was stopped because it caused permanent damage to the subject.
"I had good reason to believe that America used a BZ variant against Iraq during the Gulf War."
Basson said BZ was a hallucinogenic which altered a person's ability to act rationally.
It could either make somebody completely passive or uncontrollably aggressive, to the point where he would attack his own colleagues, he said.
Basson is facing 46 charges ranging from murder to fraud for acts allegedly committed while he was a high-ranking member of the apartheid era military.
The heart surgeon was the mastermind behind the apartheid government's secret programme to develop biological and chemical warfare capabilities and has been dubbed "Dr Death" for his weird science experiments, which allegedly included poisoning opponents of apartheid.
He this week testified that he had spied on other countries to learn about chemical warfare and had bought weaponry from Libya, East Germany and the Soviet Union.
On Friday Basson also claimed that South Africa and the Swiss Military Intelligence Service had in 1992 negotiated a deal with the Soviet Union to buy half a tonne of Mandrax, a drug the apartheid military wanted to use to control crowds.
The Swiss, he said, were also trying to buy nuclear materials from the Russians.
Basson said he had been intensifying the programme involving BZ, Mandrax andthe party drug Ecstasy as it was clear that funding for the programme would be cut off as apartheid was being dismantled.
In the end the Mandrax was in the military's possession for a few weeks before it was thrown into the sea.
But Basson said a Swiss spy, Jurg Jacomet, stole some US$1,5 million intended to pay for the drugs.
Basson ended up being jailed for three weeks in Switzerland for trying to exchange false Vatican bearer bonds to cover the deal.
Copyright Namibia African News 2002. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .
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