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Trial hears bomb squad searched law office, car, suspect's home after explosion

Members of a police bomb squad have testified about the aftermath of an explosion at a Winnipeg law office that cost one lawyer her right hand. Lawyer Maria Mitousis, who was injured in an office bombing on July 3, leans in to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman prior to speaking to media during a press conference in Winnipeg, Wednesday, September 30, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
November 06, 2017 - 11:20 AM

WINNIPEG - Shortly after an explosion at a law firm that cost lawyer Maria Mitousis her right hand, members of Winnipeg's bomb squad looked for other potential explosives as well as small body parts such as fingers that could be recovered for Mitousis' surgery, two officers testified Monday.

Const. Rommel Vianzon geared up in an armoured bomb suit and went into the small family law firm shortly after the blast on July 3, 2015.

"We went behind a desk just to ... see whether there was any body parts or anything that we could recover of the victim," Vianzon told court Monday.

"There was nothing we found or needed to recover."

Vianzon is one of several police officers testifying at the trial of Guido Amsel, 51, who has pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and several explosives-related charges.

Amsel is accused of sending letter-bombs to Mitousis — who had represented his ex-wife Iris in the couple's divorce — and to his ex-wife's workplace, as well as a law firm that had represented him. The latter two were found before they could detonate.

The trial has already heard that the package sent to Mitousis was a hand-held voice recorder, accompanied by a note that instructed her to press "play." When she pressed the button, the bomb went off, the trial has been told.

Two similar voice-recorders were later found in a large safe at Amsel's home, police have testified.

Amsel has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Saheel Zaman, has questioned police officers about how they handled and protected evidence.

Under cross-examination, Zaman asked Vianzon whether his bomb suit may have contained residue from previous assignments or training.

"You didn't do a scan of the suit (beforehand) to see if there was explosive residue, did you?" Zaman asked.

"No," Vianzon replied.

Zaman also asked Const. Marc Leveque, a bomb squad member who searched the law office after Vianzon's initial survey, about his footwear at the scene.

"There was nothing put over your shoes?" Zaman asked.

"Correct," Leveque replied.

Leveque said he also searched a vehicle parked near Mitousis's office the day of the explosion. The vehicle belonged to Mitousis's husband and inside was a box, he said.

"It turned out to be pastries."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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