Manitoba

Ex-wife to testify in Guido Amsel mail-bombing trial

The trial of accused mail bomber Guido Amsel is expected to resume Tuesday with testimony from his ex-wife.

Iris Amsel's home was bombed in 2013

Handwriting on a mail bomb package detonated by police looked it belonged to Guido Amsel, a witness told court Friday. (Submitted/WPS via CP)

The trial of accused mail bomber Guido Amsel is expected to resume Tuesday with testimony from his ex-wife.

Iris Amsel was among the alleged targets of three mail bombs delivered to her former workplace and two law firms in July 2015, and a December 2013 explosion at Iris Amsel's Rural Municipality of St. Clements home.

Guido Amsel is charged with five counts of attempted murder and several explosives-related offences.

Neighbour 'rocked' by 2013 explosion

Guido and his ex-wife Iris Amsel built a home in the rural municipality, 30 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, in the early '90s. 

The couple separated in 2003 after 15 years of marriage, and got divorced in 2004. Iris Amsel kept living in the home in St. Clements after the divorce.

David Kane, one of her neighbours, said the 2013 blast was so powerful it knocked him to the floor in his home.

"I was reading a good novel, and something rocked my world and literally threw me onto the floor," Kane said. "There was a blackening around the window of the garage, and the window of the garage was blown out."

Two days after the explosion, Kane said the RCMP's bomb unit visited Iris Amsel's home. 

Kane said RCMP told him there was an explosion of some kind. Iris Amsel never offered up an explanation about what happened, he said.

No one was injured in the 2013 explosion. 

Divorce fight appeared to be ending

Even after the couple's relationship was formally severed, Guido Amsel accused his wife of siphoning more than $3 million from his auto body business. He had taken full control of it after the divorce, and said he discovered questionable financial transactions.

Guido Amsel also accused his ex-wife of planning to take the couple's son to Germany and never return.

Iris Amsel denied all allegations.

In 2010, she sued Guido Amsel for money she felt she was still owed from their joint business. Guido Amsel denied he owed her the money and countersued. The case dragged on for years and Guido Amsel changed lawyers twice.

The acrimony appeared to end in a pre-trial conference on March 30, 2015. A memorandum from the meeting says Guido Amsel agreed that he owed his ex-wife the $40,000 plus interest, dropped his countersuit and agreed to sell off vehicles and equipment to get the money in a sale set for July 11, 2015.

2 bombs safely detonated, 1 exploded

On July 3, 2015, a mail bomb exploded at 252 River Ave., seriously injuring Iris Amsel's then-lawyer Maria Mitousis. 

A second mail bomb was safely detonated after being located at the Orle Bargen and Davidson law offices, where a former female lawyer of Guido Amsel used to work.

A third mail bomb had accidentally been delivered across the street from Iris Amsel's Washington Avenue workplace. The business owner and mechanic who got the package joked that it appeared to have Guido Amsel's writing on it. They later brought it to Iris Amsel's shop across the street — where the next day police came to safely detonate it. 

Mitousis is expected to testify later this week.

now