File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Lawyer Maria Mitousis, who was injured in an office bombing speaks to media during a press conference in Winnipeg. Court has heard Mitousis, who was badly injured when a letter bomb went off at a Winnipeg law firm, was covered in blood and holding her abdomen when she walked out of her office.

Trial hears DNA of accused letter-bomber found on evidence from two blast sites

WINNIPEG — An RCMP forensic specialist says DNA from a Winnipeg man accused of sending letter bombs matched samples taken at two blast sites.

Guido Amsel has pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and to explosives-related charges.

He is accused of sending letter bombs to his former wife and two Winnipeg law offices where, in one case, a lawyer was seriously injured.

Marc Lett told Amsel’s trial that two blood samples obtained from Amsel contained DNA which matched samples taken from evidence at the office where Maria Mitousis worked.

Mitousis, who had represented Amsel’s ex-wife in a lawsuit, lost a hand when a letter bomb sent to her went off in July 2015.

Lett said Amsel’s DNA also matched samples taken after a blast at his former wife’s home in December 2013.

Lett testified a sample from the outside zipper area of an orange-and-purple pouch found in Mitousis’s office contained her DNA and that of an unknown male.

He said there is only a one in 1.2 quintillion chance that the unknown DNA that matched Amsel came from a different Caucasian male.

Lett also told court that a charred piece of string from the blast crater of the 2013 explosion at the home of Amsel’s ex-wife had three DNA profiles. One of them matched Amsel’s and the other two were too weak to make a match.

The estimated probability of the positive match being with another Caucasian male is one in 2.6 trillion, Lett said.

Court heard DNA could not be extracted from or was too weak for analysis on some of the other evidence seized by investigators in 2013 and 2015.

On Monday, a forensic chemist testified that an explosive substance which can be made from household ingredients was found at the three locations where letter bombs were sent in 2015.

Nigel Hearns said triacetone triperoxide, known as TATP, is an explosive found in acts of international terrorism and was the only substance found at the three scenes.

The trial has previously heard that the Amsels had been in a bitter divorce battle that dragged on for years. A lawsuit had been filed over the autobody shop they co-owned.

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