Judge's decision in letter bomb trial expected Thursday afternoon

Judge's decision in letter bomb trial expected Thursday afternoon

A Winnipeg man accused of sending letter bombs through the mail is expected to learn his fate tomorrow in provincial court.

Judge Tracey Lord is scheduled to deliver a decision Thursday afternoon in the trial of Guido Amsel.

Amsel, 52, has pleaded not guilty to 19 criminal charges including five counts of attempted murder after explosives were sent to his ex-wife and two Winnipeg law firms, seriously injuring lawyer Amsel’s ex-wife’s lawyer Maria Mitousis.

The verdict comes following a lengthy trial which saw the accused take the stand in his own defence.

It’s been nearly five months since closing arguments.

Lord heard from civilian, police and expert witnesses in a trial which spanned several weeks.

The case is dealing with charges involving four bombs, including one in 2013 which detonated outside the home of Amsel’s ex-wife, Iris Amsel, causing property damage but no injuries.

Court heard three other bombs were sent in July 2015, one to Iris Amsel’s workplace and two others to law offices of lawyers involved in the couple’s divorce proceedings.

One of those bombs detonated seriously injuring Mitousis. Two others were detonated by police.

The trial heard testimony from Iris Amsel that the couple was at odds over $40,000, which Iris testified Guido owed her to take full ownership of the auto body business the couple operated together.

During cross-examination Iris Amsel denied trying to destroy Guido Amsel’s relationship with his current wife but acknowledged she created a fake online profile pretending to be another man showing interest in Guido’s wife.

When he took the stand Guido Amsel suggested his ex-wife is responsible for the bombs and denied sending any explosives.

“Sir, I’m going to ask you point blank. At any point in time did you ever send any explosive to anybody,” Amsel’s lawyer Saheel Zaman asked his client during the trial in December.

“No,” Amsel responded.

During closing arguments the Crown asked Lord to find Amsel guilty on all charges.

“Mr. Amsel would have you believe he is an unfortunate victim of coincidence. Or he was framed. Or the evidence was planted,” Crown attorney Chris Vanderhooft told the judge back in December. “It’s all a giant conspiracy.”

The trial heard Amsel’s DNA was found on evidence at two of the explosion scenes including at Mitousis’ office.

Amsel’s lawyers argued the Crown hasn’t proven the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“If you believe the evidence of the accused, you should acquit,” Zaman stated during closing arguments in December. “And our position is you should acquit.”

The decision is expected to be delivered Thursday at 2 p.m.

A live stream of the verdict will be available to watch online on the CTV Winnipeg website.

Published at Wed, 16 May 2018 17:11:00 -0400