Alleged bomber Guido Amsel denied out-of-province judge for bail review

Guido Amsel, accused of sending bombs to several Winnipeg addresses, will not receive an out-of-province judge for his bail review, court heard on Thursday.

Defence lawyer Martin Glazer made request on Monday, saying case poses conflict of interest

Guido Amsel, shown in this Facebook photo, was denied an out-of-province judge for his bail review on Thursday. (Facebook)

Guido Amsel, accused of sending bombs to several Winnipeg addresses, will not receive an out-of-province judge for his bail review, court heard on Thursday.

Chief Justice Glenn Joyal delivered the decision three days after Amsel's lawyer, Martin Glazer, put in the request.

"A reasonable person would conclude a justice of the Court of Queen's Bench could decide this case fairly," Joyal said.

He also said there must be "serious and compelling grounds" to assign a judge from outside Manitoba, and the accused must prove "institutional bias" to disqualify an entire court.

When submitting the request, Glazer said the case poses a conflict of interest because two of the bombing victims are lawyers. Lawyer Maria Mitousis was badly injured when one of the bombs went off at her Winnipeg office.

"These lawyers are like the sons and daughters of this court," Glazer told Joyal at a hearing on Monday.

"This application is about doing what is right and not doing what's convenient."

But Joyal said there will be no bias, even if the judge knows the victims.

"Every court takes an oath and it cannot be said that a justice of this court would fall into a reasonable apprehension of bias simply because they know some of the witnesses," he said.

Amsel, 49, is charged with three counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault and a number of other weapons and explosives charges.

Three women were allegedly targeted by the attacks last July in which bombs were rigged through recording devices and sent through the mail.

A Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench judge will hear Amsel's bail review on March 21.

With files from CBC's Caroline Barghout


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