NEWS

Alleged bomber can't find legal help after explosion injures Winnipeg lawyer

07/09/2015 05:14 EDT | Updated 07/09/2016 05:59 EDT
Alleged bomber Guido Amsel is having a difficult time finding a lawyer to take his case.

It's been nearly a week since an explosive device went off in the Peterson King law office in Winnipeg, severely injuring 38-year-old Maria Mitousis.

Two other explosive devices have been recovered since then, including one at an autoshop and another at a different law firm. Winnipeg police are still investigating almost daily calls of suspicious packages.

Amsel has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and a host of other charges, and police believe Amsel targeted Mitousis because she represented his ex-wife during a lengthy, bitter divorce battle.

He also allegedly sent explosive devices via Canada Post to his ex-wife and a lawyer that previously represented him. All three were women.

But in court on Thursday, Amsel didn't have a lawyer.

He told the judge he was talking to a lawyer but wasn't yet represented by anyone.

A number of lawyers contacted by CBC said they were reluctant to take on the case – concerned not only for their own safety but for their staff. Not only that, but some have donated to a Go Fund Me page for Mitousis's recovery, which puts them in a conflict that prevents them from representing Amsel.

"It's become clear he is having difficulty. There was an email sent out by a lawyer to all criminal lawyers asking if anyone wants to represent him," said Winnipeg criminal lawyer Jay Prober.

Jody Ostapiw is the president of the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association of Manitoba.

She said lawyers who are turning down Amsel should be providing other solutions.

"We understand why some of our members may not feel comfortable taking this case, but it should not be that if Mr. Amsel or his family calls, [they are told] 'No, I'm not taking your case,'" she said.

Amsel's next court date is July 16.

MORE:cbcNews