Man accused in Winnipeg mail bombings fires his lawyer

By The Canadian Press
August 30, 2016 - 4:15pm

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg man accused of sending letter bombs in the mail, including one that cost a lawyer her hand, has fired his lawyer.

Guido Amsel, who faces five counts of attempted murder, told court he has lost trust in well-known local attorney Martin Glazer and hopes to have new counsel by the weekend.

Glazer had represented Amsel since shortly after his arrest last year and guided him through a failed bail hearing and appeal that Amsel eventually lost.  

Three of the attempted murder charges were laid last summer after letter bombs were sent to Amsel's former wife and two Winnipeg law firms.

Two of the explosives were safely detonated, but one went off and seriously injured lawyer Maria Mitousis, who had represented Amsel's ex-wife in the couple's divorce.

Amsel is also charged in relation to the detonation of an explosive device in 2013 outside the home he once shared with his ex-wife.

Glazer told court he was notified in mid-August that Amsel was firing him as his lawyer. He said Amsel's trial was set to begin Oct. 26 and last about 45 days.

"I have discharged Martin Glazer because I just lost the trust and the confidence in his work,” Amsel told the court.

The judge told Amsel his decision could result in a delay of his trial, which Amsel said he understood.

It initially took some time for Amsel to find a lawyer because many cited a conflict of interest due to knowing Mitousis.

He was denied bail last fall, but had appealed and waived his right to a publication ban. The original decision was upheld by a judge in May.

Justice Chris Martin said the judge who denied bail made no error in law and nothing in his reasons suggested Amsel was presumed guilty.

Glazer had argued that the Crown's case was weak and that police arrested his client prematurely based on the concerns of his former wife. Glazer had suggested Amsel is being "set up to take the fall for someone else.''

Glazer said at the time of the appeal decision that it was disappointing because Amsel would have to remain behind bars until his trial.

"That's a significant time to wait in jail when you are presumed innocent,'' he said.

(CTV Winnipeg, CJOB, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

©2016 The Canadian Press

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