Accused Winnipeg bomber went through long and nasty divorce, court records show


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It began as a seemingly amicable separation -- only to trigger a nasty, decade-long court battle that ultimately ended with allegations of bombings and bloodshed.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/07/2015 (2764 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It began as a seemingly amicable separation — only to trigger a nasty, decade-long court battle that ultimately ended with allegations of bombings and bloodshed.

Court documents paint a clear picture of how ugly things had become in the world of Guido Amsel, the 49-year-old German immigrant accused of targeting his ex-wife, his former lawyer and ex-wife’s former lawyer with a series of explosives devices sent through the mail.

The Free Press reviewed the thick file on Monday, which began in 2004 when Amsel filed for divorce against his wife, Iris. The couple had married in Germany in 1988 but stopped living together in 2003. They were parents of a son, Kyle, born in 1995.

Guido Amsel

”There has been a permanent breakdown of our marriage,” Guido wrote in his affidavit. He cited “unhappy differences” between the couple. At the time, Guido was represented by lawyers Lori Douglas and Andrew Swan. Douglas would go on to become a Manitoba judge embroiled in a nude photo scandal, while Swan most recently served as provincial justice minister.

At first, it seemed like it would be a relatively easy breakup. Guido and Iris drafted a separation agreement in which she would retain primary custody of their son, he would pay $500 in monthly child support and they would divide all their property and assets equally, including the Eurotech Autobody shop they were running together.

But the file appears to have simply gathered dust in the system for years before going off the rails beginning in 2010.

Guido had rejected Iris’ bid to travel to Germany that summer with their now teenaged-son. He called his estranged wife and her parents “criminals” and expressed concerns they may keep Kyle overseas using stolen money.

That prompted Kyle to file his own affidavit, criticizing his father for preventing the trip.

“I do not believe the accusations,” Kyle wrote. “My mother tries to keep me out of what is happening between her and my father…unfortunately I am told enough to understand it.”

Documents went back and forth, with Guido eventually accusing Iris of stealing more than three million dollars from the business they once ran together through “erroneous and unexplained” transactions. He also accused her of flushing his wedding ring down the toilet and interfering in his new romantic relationship by calling him up and pretending to be a man who was the boyfriend of his current partner.

Iris responded by calling Guido “unstable, volatile and unpredictable” and his allegations “scandalous, irrelevant and inflammatory.”

The situation came to a head in 2013 when Iris filed for additional child support on behalf of Kyle, who was set to begin college in Alberta. She said more help was needed with expenses totalling more than $20,000.

Guido refused, and actually suggested he shouldn’t have to pay because Kyle may not even be his son. He requested DNA testing be done in an exchange of letters with Iris’ lawyer — Maria Mitousis.

“I have to question the fatherhood of Kyle. I would like to take an example (swab out of his mouth) so I can DNA test him and me to give me peace of mind,” Guido wrote in one letter.

Mitousis responded tersely, rejecting the bid.

“Ms. Amsel has difficulty accepting that you are now questioning Kyle’s paternity,” she wrote. “There is absolutely no basis for this position. My client will not agree to your requesting DNA testing.”

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg police gather evidence Monday at the Pandora Avenue East home of bombing suspect Guido Amsel.

Mitousis also took issue with how Guido was allegedly putting his son in the middle of the ugly, prolonged legal dispute.

“Kyle says that when he is with you, you will speak disparagingly about Ms. Amsel. He says this is constant and relentless,” Mitousis wrote.

Kyle filed another affidavit in 2013, bemoaning the state of things with Guido.

“It is true I do not have a positive relationship with my father. I would like to repair this and have my father be part of my life again. I miss him and know he would be supportive of my career choices,” Kyle wrote.

But he suggested it would be nearly impossible for that to occur.

“In the past, when I was in contact with my father, he would rant for hours about how my mother had wronged him,” Kyle wrote.

Ultimately, the file came to an end last winter when both parties agree to a revised separation agreement. Guido was ordered to pay enhanced child support of $583 monthly after financial records showed he was making $60,000 per year, while Iris was only bringing in about $7,000 annually.

There’s no word on whether DNA testing was ever done. But it’s clear the bitter feelings between both sides were strong — no doubt enhanced by the fact Iris filed a civil suit against Guido in 2010 which remains before the courts.

The case last appeared on the docket on June 22 — just one week before Guido is alleged to have mailed out the bombs to Iris, Mitousis and his former lawyer.

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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