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DelVal trustee appointed to Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Courtesy: Christopher Asplen. DelVal Trustee Christopher H. Asplen.

Nov 21, 2014

Christopher H. Asplen, a member of Delaware Valley College’s Board of Trustees, has been selected by the United States Department of State to help in the fight against nuclear terrorism. Asplen, the attorney-in-charge of Hill Wallack LLP’s Life Sciences practice group, has been working for more than a year with the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) as one of its legal experts.

In October 2013, Asplen was asked by the State Department to attend a meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany at the Institute for Transuranium Elements as a legal advisor to the Nuclear Forensics Working Group. Since then, he has traveled to Ottawa, Canada, working with the top nuclear security and nuclear forensic scientists in the world to develop a prosecutorial strategy necessary for when terrorists are caught and prosecuted for crimes related to nuclear terrorism. Asplen was asked by the State Department to assist the GICNT because of his expertise in another legal/scientific area, DNA. Recognizing the fact that “nuclear evidence” is a complicated scientific proposition, not often introduced into the courtroom setting, Asplen is using his recognized expertise in the science of DNA, to teach prosecutors and nuclear forensics experts how to approach the admission of complex scientific evidence.

“The ability to investigate, arrest and prosecute terrorists for the trafficking of nuclear material before they are able to execute a nuclear detonation is key to the prevention of a catastrophic terrorist event,” said Asplen.

Up next, he will be traveling in the spring to the Peace Palace at The Hague in the Netherlands to assist with a mock trial prosecution involving nuclear material.