Guido Amsel, alleged Winnipeg bomber, charged in 2013 explosion
Amsel already faces 2 counts of attempted murder and 1 count of aggravated assault
Amsel, who is already accused of mailing bombs to his ex-wife and two lawyers in the summer of 2015, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and a number of other offences related to the 2013 blast at the ex-wife's home, Manitoba RCMP announced Friday.
"What we believe to be an explosive device was detonated outside a home in the rural municipality of St. Clements," Chief Supt. Scott Kolody, the officer in charge of criminal operations for the RCMP in Manitoba, said at a news conference.
But Winnipeg defence lawyer Martin Glazer, who is representing Amsel, said he is still waiting for evidence related to the latest charges.
"We haven't been told why he's been charged. We haven't been told what the evidence is against him," Glazer said Friday afternoon.
"When I asked RCMP ... what's new since he was, in our view, cleared in 2013, the RCMP officer says, 'I can't tell you.'"
Glazer added that RCMP officers interrogated Amsel for hours on Thursday, but he maintains his innocence on all charges.
"I take it they were trying to extract a confession that did not succeed," he said. "There is no confession. My client maintains his innocence."
Amsel is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
In 2015, Amsel was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated assault . Winnipeg police allege Amsel targeted three women — two lawyers and his ex-wife — with mail bombs as an act of revenge following a lengthy divorce battle.
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'Something rocked my world,' neighbour recalls
On Dec. 13, 2013, Amsel's ex-wife, Iris, had an explosion at her rural property, according to David Kane, a neighbour.
The Amsels built the home together in the '90s, and Iris, who owned the property, continued to live there following their divorce.
Kane said the force of the blast knocked him to the floor of his home.
"I was reading a good novel, and something rocked my world and literally threw me onto the floor," he said.
"There was a blackening around the window of the garage, and the window of the garage was blown out."
On Friday, RCMP Staff Sgt. Jared Hall said the explosion happened in the early-morning hours of Dec. 13, 2013, while the occupants of the home were sleeping.
"The residents of the home were not awoken and only recognized the damage, which was to their home and to their vehicle, when they first stepped outside later that morning," Hall said.
The residents filed a mischief complaint with the RCMP's East St. Paul detachment. Investigators later confirmed that an explosion had occurred.
"All possible motives were identified and investigated, including the potential for Guido Amsel's involvement, as he was the ex-husband of a person who … owned the residence," Hall said.
Evidence 'significant' to 2013 case
"There is no physical evidence or information available that identified a suspect in the explosion. This included Mr. Amsel," Hall added.
"On July 4, 2015, the Winnipeg Police Service arrested Mr. Amsel … the details of that incident obviously shed new light onto our investigation."
Now, Hall said, there is evidence that he calls "significant to the 2013 case," although he didn't specify on Friday what that evidence is because the case remains before the courts.
Mounties went to Headingley Correctional Institution in Manitoba on Thursday and arrested and charged Amsel in connection with the 2013 explosion. Amsel has been in custody since he was charged in the 2015 blasts. That case is still before the courts.
But Glazer accused the RCMP of leading a one-sided investigation into his client's case and said he hopes to present a different theory in court on who was involved in the explosions.
"We've always taken the position that his arrest was premature, that the police did not conduct a complete investigation," Glazer said.
"They took his ex-wife's belief for granted and simply swooped down and arrested my client back in July of last year without any concrete evidence."