Trial told letter-bomb suspect's former lawyer was scared after she dropped him - InfoNews

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Trial told letter-bomb suspect's former lawyer was scared after she dropped him

Guido Amsel, 49, is shown in this undated handout photo.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Winnipeg Police Service MANDATORY CREDIT
November 27, 2017 - 3:07 PM

WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg lawyer says she was scared to leave the courthouse after she dropped a client in a civil lawsuit that had been brought against him by his ex-wife.

Sarah McEachern says she had been hired by Guido Amsel in 2013, but withdrew from the case in September 2014.

She told his attempted murder trial that she and Amsel had an interaction in the courthouse hallway after her motion to withdraw was granted.

She said he wanted to know if she had been paid off by his former wife, Iris, or her lawyer.

McEachern testified that she waited with a friend in a different section of the courthouse because she feared what would happen if she left at the same time as Amsel.

Amsel, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of sending letter bombs to his ex-wife, to McEachern's former law firm and to the lawyer who represented his wife in the lawsuit.

Iris Amsel was represented by Maria Mitousis, who lost a hand and was badly injured when a letter bomb exploded at her office in July 2015.

McEachern said she dropped Amsel after she and senior partner George Orle met with him at their law office.

"He said, 'I have one question. Did Iris or Maria pay you?'" McEachern testified Monday.

"I said, 'No, Guido. I’ve been trying to help you but I can't anymore.' Then he said, 'This is all going to come out in the end.'

"He was clearly agitated and his tone of voice was very direct."

The Crown also asked McEachern about the time she went to police in July 2015, a couple of months after she and Orle had left the firm.

McEachern testified she feared for her safety after hearing about the explosion that wounded Mitousis and became increasingly concerned when she learned the bomb squad was at Iris Amsel's business.

She said she talked to police in the morning and, later that day, a suspicious package was safely detonated at her former law firm.

Orle also testified Monday. He said he remembered seeing the commotion around Mitousis's firm on July 3.

"I was at The Keg and someone said a bomb had gone off," he told the trial. "I called the office at noon to tell them to shut down for the day and to not accept any packages."

The Amsels had been in a bitter divorce battle that dragged on for years. The lawsuit was over an autobody shop they co-owned.

The acrimony appeared to end in the weeks leading up to the explosion. Court documents show Amsel agreed to pay his ex-wife $40,000 and to sell equipment from the autobody business. The auction was slated for eight days after the explosion.

The trial is to resume next Monday.

(CJOB, The Canadian Press)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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