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This article was published 6/6/2018 (1226 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A convicted bomber has announced his intention to get an out-of-province lawyer to appeal what he considers a "wrongful" verdict.
After he was convicted in May of 15 criminal charges, including four counts of attempted murder for building and sending explosives to his ex-wife and local lawyers, 52-year-old Guido Amsel informed his defence lawyers he no longer wanted their representation.
Amsel appeared in provincial court Wednesday afternoon, where lawyers Saheel Zaman and Jeremy Kostiuk were allowed to withdraw because of a "breakdown in the solicitor-client relationship."
Amsel told Judge Tracey Lord he is trying to go through Legal Aid to get an out-of-province lawyer to represent him during his sentencing hearing. A date for that hearing has yet to be set, and Crown prosecutors have raised concerns about further delaying the case.
This is the second time Amsel has fired his defence lawyers. He was represented by Martin Glazer before Zaman and Kostiuk began representing him in summer 2016, through to the end of his trial last December.
"Mr. Amsel's decision to discharge counsel at this point should not delay the sentencing, in our view," Crown attorney Chris Vanderhooft said, adding it is "not normal" and "unlikely" for Legal Aid to supply Amsel with a lawyer from outside of Manitoba.
Amsel told the judge he understands he can't begin his appeal process until he is sentenced for the crimes. He spoke Wednesday about needing to reveal material about "implanted evidence" that was never brought up in court.
"I've contacted some lawyers, but there seems to be a huge conflict of interest," he said, saying he expects to take two or three weeks to find a new lawyer. His next court date is in early July.
"There's just a lot of material that has not been brought up in court," he said, describing the judge's guilty verdict as "wrongful."
Amsel pleaded not guilty but was convicted in four explosions, one in December 2013 and three in July 2015, that targeted his ex-wife Iris Amsel and lawyers representing the former couple during their lengthy civil-law dispute. An explosion at a River Avenue law office on July 3, 2015 severely injured Iris's former lawyer, Maria Mitousis. She lost her right hand in the blast after opening a bubble-wrapped package that contained an explosive hidden inside a recording device. Two other packages exploded the same weekend after they were hit with police bomb robots' water cannons.
Katie May reports on courts, crime and justice for the Free Press.