Judge denies bail to Winnipeg man accused of sending letter bombs

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WINNIPEG — A man accused of sending letter bombs to his ex-wife and two lawyers was denied bail Wednesday, but he plans to appeal.

Guido Amsel was ordered by provincial court Judge Heather Pullan to remain in custody pending his trial on charges that include three counts of attempted murder. The decision followed three days of evidence which cannot be reported due to a publication ban.

Amsel’s lawyer, Martin Glazer, said outside a Winnipeg courtroom that his client will appeal the bail ruling.

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“Obviously, he’s not happy with the decision. He was hoping to get out today and go back to his family and to his work and, so, this is just Round 1. Round 2 is coming up. Stay tuned.”

Amsel, 49, was arrested in early July after bombs were sent to his former wife’s workplace and the offices of lawyers who had represented Amsel and his wife in their divorce. Police said that in each case an explosive compound was inserted into a recording device.

Two bombs were safely disposed of, but one exploded and severely injured lawyer Maria Mitousis. She lost a hand and suffered other injuries which will require long-term rehabilitation.

Glazer has said his client did not commit the crime and should not have to sit in jail until a trial that could be two years away.

“A case like this is sort of complicated and it takes time.”

Court documents show Guido Amsel and his ex-wife, Iris, went through a lengthy and bitter divorce in which Amsel accused her of stealing millions of dollars from an auto-body shop they jointly owned.

Amsel has since remarried.

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The acrimony appeared to end in March of this year. A memorandum from a pre-trial conference says Amsel agreed that he owed his former wife $40,000 from the auto-body shop and promised to sell vehicles and equipment to get the money. 

An auction was scheduled for July 11, eight days after the bomb exploded in Mitousis’ office. The sale was postponed after the blast when the police investigation was launched.

Mitousis is well-known in Winnipeg’s legal community and Glazer said one challenge for upcoming legal proceedings is finding a judge who does not know her or the other alleged victims.

“Even at the trial, we may need an out-of-province judge to hear the matter.”

The Canadian Press

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Note to readers: (The Canadian Press)

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