Dr Aubrey Levin

A Canadian court is to assess whether Dr Aubrey Levin, the apartheid-era South African doctor who tried to “cure” gay soldiers, is fit to stand trial.

Levin (73) is facing ten charges of sexually assaulting male patients whom he treated as a psychiatrist. The charges were first laid in 2010, after which he was suspended from practicing.

On Wednesday, a pre-trial hearing will be held to decide on Levin’s mental competence, reported the Calgary Herald.

Three medical experts are expected to be presented by the defence to back up their claim that Levin is suffering from a mental disorder.

Judge Donna Shelley earlier dismissed efforts to delay the case after Levin’s legal team claimed he was too ill to stand trial.

During the 70s and 80s, Levin oversaw a controversial programme that attempted to change the sexual orientation of gay soldiers in the infamous Ward 22 at the Voortrekkerhoogte military hospital in Pretoria.

The soldiers were allegedly strapped down and shown images of naked men and then given electric shocks in order to create negative associations to their same-sex attraction.

He has been accused of attempting to “treat” lesbians through similar means. There have also been claims that Levin chemically castrated some gay patients.

In the 90s Levin fled to Canada where he set up practice as a psychiatrist.

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