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Adrian Wilkinson

MBE, MSc, MA, CEng, FIExpE, 

v

 

Areas of expertise

 

Firearms & Ballistics >

Ammunition
 

Explosives
 

Explosions and Blast/Ballistic Analysis

Summary

With over 30 years’ experience Adrian Wilkinson is an internationally recognised and leading forensic explosives engineer with expertise in ammunition, explosives, weapon systems and blast analysis.

Adrian has examined countless evidential items and crime scenes of explosions; with his expertise utilised internationally. He has provided many expert witness or equivalent statements for both the prosecution and defence and given expert witness testimony or advice for many courts and organizations, both in the UK and internationally, including: Crown Courts, High Courts, UN Security Council Sanctions Committees and the International Criminal Court.

Adrian previously served for 20 years in the British Army, primarily as an Ammunition Technical Officer (ATO), which included operational EOD experience in Northern Ireland (1988 and 1990), Gulf 1991, Falkland Islands (1993), Albania (1998 – 1999), and Bosnia (2007). Since leaving the military he was Head of Technology and Standards at the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) for nearly 3 years, after which he became Director of the UN Disarmament Mission (SEESAC) in the Balkans for almost 5 years. He took a short break from UN work to return to UK as the Head of Explosion and Ballistic Protection at the UK Home Office Scientific Development Branch (now C.A.S.T) for eighteen months.  He then returned to the UN as the consultant Chief Technical Advisor on Weapons and Ammunition in the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs.  In March 2013 he was appointed by the UN Secretary General as a Sanctions Investigator on the Panel of Experts for the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee for Sudan (2013 – 2015) and subsequently for the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee for Yemen (2016 to 2018).  His EOD experience in the humanitarian community since he left the Army includes Jenin (2002), Caribbean (2009 – 2013), Yemen (2013) and even an oil tanker in the Gulf after a “piracy” attack (2011).

Adrian’s 30 years of service, particularly those in conflict or immediate post-conflict environments, have given him an unrivalled level of expertise in explosive engineering from the perspective of ammunition and explosive safety, ammunition accident investigations, sanctions investigations and integrated war crimes investigations.

Experience

  • Leading ammunition and explosives expert with over 30 years’ experience.

  • Internationally recognised specialist in operational disarmament and the use of explosives engineering for sanctions and war crimes investigations.

  • Developed, programme managed and evaluated ammunition and explosive related projects or operations in over 37 countries.

  • Vastly experienced in liaising and coordinating with a range of bodies including the United Nations, INTERPOL, EUROPOL, national governments at ministerial/ambassadorial level and both civil and criminal defence solicitors and barristers. 

  • Experienced and qualified trainer in all aspects of explosives engineering having lectured or presented to amongst others: United Nations Sanctions Committees, the standing Conference on Disarmament (Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons), the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation and the Balkans Stability Pact high level conferences.

Committee Memberships

  • Technical Advisor on Ammunition and Explosives to the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (ODA) (2009 – 2013).

  • Technical Advisor to the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (ODA) for the UN General Assembly Group of Government Experts (GGE) on Conventional Ammunition (2008).

  • Strategic Advisor to the Board of Saferworld (an International Arms Control NGO). (2004 – 2007).

  • Technical Advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) for the Amended Protocol 2 to the Conventional on Conventional Weapons (CCW) (2001 – 2002).

  • Member, UN Secretary General’s Special Panel on the destruction of Small Arms and Light Weapons (2000 – 2001).

  • Chartered Engineer and Elected Fellow of the Institute of Explosive Engineers.

  • Chartered Security Professional and Fellow of the Security Institute (2010 - 2017)

  • Most recently in January 2019 he was appointed by the UN Secretary General as a Sanctions Investigator on the Panel of Experts for the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee for Libya.

Notable Work

  • Pioneered the use of explosives engineering to provide forensic evidence in support of UN sanctions and war crimes investigations. Presently a developing methodology being used to support integrated investigations with international humanitarian law specialists (2013 - 2017).

  • Technical Author for the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG), now endorsed by the UN General Assembly and recommended for use globally as the lead global ammunition and explosive safety standards (2010/2013).

  • Project Director and a co-author of the International Mine Action Standards, now used as the global safety standard for explosive ordnance disposal, landmine clearance and humanitarian mine action (2001 – 2003). 

  • Appointed MBE for explosive ordnance disposal and defence diplomacy in Albania (1998 – 1999).

Notable Cases

  • UN Sanctions Committee for Sudan 

Used explosive engineering, to evidential proof levels for a war crime involving Sudanese Air Force pilots attacking a civilian convoy near Tangarara, Darfur on 29 November 2013. 

 

Used explosive engineering, to evidential proof levels for violations of customary international humanitarian law involving the use of improvised air delivered munitions by the Sudanese Air Force during 2014 and 2015.  

  • UN Sanctions Committee for Yemen

Used explosive engineering, to evidential proof levels, for a probable war crime involving Saudi Arabia-led coalition pilots attacking a funeral at a civilian community hall in Sana’a on 8 October 2015. 

 

Used explosive engineering, to identify explosive attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Aden in 2016 and 2017.

Case details are Confidential.

  • Suez Fortune Investments Limited and Piraeus Bank AV v Talbot Underwriting and others

Investigated use of weapons and the cause of an explosion in an attack against an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.