Man­i­toba man who sent let­ter bombs guilty of at­tempted mur­der

The Hamilton Spectator - - Canada & World - KELLY GERAL­DINE MALONE

WINNIPEG — A judge on Thurs­day found a Man­i­toba man guilty of at­tempt­ing to mur­der his for­mer wife and two lawyers when he sent them let­ter bombs.

Guido Am­sel was ar­rested and charged af­ter three ex­plo­sive pack­ages were found in July 2015. Maria Mi­tousis, a lawyer who had rep­re­sented Am­sel’s ex-wife, Iris, in a fi­nan­cial dis­pute, lost her right hand when one of the bombs went off in her of­fice.

“There is ex­pert ev­i­dence, which I ac­cept, that the de­vices in ques­tion were all ca­pa­ble of not only caus­ing bod­ily harm but were po­ten­tially lethal,” Judge Tracey Lord said in hand­ing down her ver­dict in a Winnipeg court­room.

Lord said she was sat­is­fied that DNA ev­i­dence found at the crime scenes be­longed to Am­sel and that he was the one who sent the ex­plo­sive de­vices. She re­jected defence ar­gu­ments as to how his DNA could have come to be there.

She said she also be­lieved he planted a de­vice that went off out­side Iris Am­sel’s home in De­cem­ber 2013.

Lord re­jected Guido Am­sel’s tes­ti­mony in his own defence and said his ex­pla­na­tion that he was be­ing framed by his wife wasn’t cred­i­ble.

“His ex­pla­na­tions are en­tirely too re­mote and coincidental ... to be cred­i­ble.”

Am­sel said “I can’t be­lieve that” as he was led from the court.

The judge said she con­cluded he wanted to hurt his wife and the lawyers for their role in a con­tentious law­suit he had filed over prof­its from an au­to­body shop they had co-owned.

He dropped the law­suit shortly be­fore the let­ter bombs were sent.

“I am sat­is­fied based on Mr. Am­sel’s con­spir­a­to­rial be­liefs about those in­volved in his civil le­gal pro­ceed­ings that he had mo­tive to harm them by send­ing ex­plo­sive de­vices,” Lord said.

“His mo­tive was to pun­ish them for their re­spec­tive roles in the out­come.”

The ex­plo­sive com­pound that in­jured Mi­tousis was con­tained in a hand-held voice recorder that came with a note in­struct­ing her to press play. The let­ter bomb sent to Mi­tousis was the only one that ex­ploded. The other two were safely det­o­nated by po­lice. The 2013 bomb that went off out­side Iris Am­sel’s home left a crater in the frozen ground.

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