By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – Winnipeg police have charged a man with sending explosive devices to law firms and other businesses in the city, and they caution that more packages may be discovered in the coming days.
Guido Amsel, 49, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault and a number of offences related to possessing explosives.
The hunt for Amsel started last Friday, when a bomb went off inside a small law firm south of the downtown area, severely injuring Maria Mitousis, 38.
Another bomb was found Saturday at a small business in another part of the city. Then Sunday night, yet another explosive device was detonated by police at a law firm closer to downtown.
Police say Amsel targeted law firms that had represented himself or his ex-wife in the past, and they warn that other packages may be delivered to lawyers or justice officials in the city.
“Police are imploring extreme caution if any suspicious packages are discovered,” the city police service said in a release late Sunday.
Amsel has been remanded in custody, and police say they are continuing to search a business and a residence linked to the suspect.
Court records show he went through a divorce that dragged on for years, and was also sued by his ex-wife. In both cases, Amsel’s ex-wife was represented by Mitousis, who remains in hospital in stable condition with serious injuries to her upper body.
Police have said Mitousis was alone in her office when a package delivered by Canada Post exploded.
Colleagues of the 38-year-old set up a fundraising website which had raised almost $15,000 in little over 24 hours. The site said Mitousis faces “a long road to recovery.” A source in the legal community said Mitousis had undergone surgery and had lost one of her hands
The device that was detonated by police Sunday night was at a law firm connected to a lawsuit Amsel’s ex-wife filed in 2010 that involved a numbered company the couple had set up more than a decade earlier.
Amsel has continued to operate the numbered company. Records from the Rural Municipality of Springfield, just outside Winnipeg, show he was granted the right last fall to set up a small car lot in the community. He was scheduled to apply for another business permit at the end of May, but his representative did not attend, according to minutes of the council meeting.