POST OFFICE: HORIZON SCANDAL – POST OFFICE RESPONSE TO CCRC

POST OFFICE: HORIZON SCANDAL – POST OFFICE RESPONSE TO CCRC

Further to LTB 482/20 dated 1st October, Branches will recall that the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred 47 cases of former Postmasters prosecuted by the Post Office in relation to the Horizon computer system to the Court of Appeal.  Earlier today, the Post Office announced that it will not oppose 44 of the 47 appeals in which it acted as prosecutor, meaning that in all likelihood these victims of terrible injustice will have their convictions quashed and hopefully they will be fully exonerated and will receive decent compensation for the long drawn out misery they have suffered.

The Court of Appeal however still needs to make this decision, as explained via the following Tweet from the CCRC earlier today:

“Certainly seems encouraging for those who’ve been told Post Office will not oppose their appeals. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s the Court of Appeal that will decide whether or not to quash the convictions referred to it by @ccrcupdate”

Nick Wallis, the leading journalist who has been following the Horizon scandal for ten years and was instrumental in bringing about broadcasts such as the BBC Panorama programme “Scandal at the Post Office” and the BBC Radio 4 series “The Great Post Office Trial” Tweeted the following this morning:

“I understand the Post Office have decided to contest 3 of the 47 cases referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. That essentially means 44 people have wrongly been given criminal convictions by the Post Office’s own admission. #PostOfficeScandal”

The full press statement from the Post Office can be accessed via the following link:

https://corporate.postoffice.co.uk/secure-corporate/media-centre/post-office-media-centre/#/pressreleases/post-office-statement-on-postmasters-appeals-of-historical-convictions-3039904

As a consequence of these developments, please see below a link to a CWU web article:

https://www.cwu.org/news/justice-for-postmasters-with-more-horizon-humiliation-for-shamed-post-office-bosses/

It should be noted that the 47 cases referred by the CCRC relate to England and Wales only and the Scottish CCRC (SCCRC) is also considering whether to send cases to the Court of Appeal in Scotland.  A BBC article outlining this position was published on Wednesday:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-54339004

Furthermore, below is a link to an ITV story published today:

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-10-02/post-office-scandal-dozens-of-postmasters-celebrate-landmark-victory-over-historic-convictions

Clearly, the Horizon scandal is one of the biggest ever miscarriages of justice and those Senior Directors and Managers in the Post Office who were directly responsible need to be held to account.  It is therefore disappointing that the Inquiry to be led by retired judge Sir Wyn Williams will not be statutory and it will not be able to legally compel those responsible to give evidence.  The Union will continue to campaign and lobby for justice.

Today’s development is another key milestone for Postmaster victims of the Horizon scandal.  However, there are people who were in high positions of authority within the Post Office who are culpable in this matter and this must be exposed in order that full justice is secured for those who were wronged.

Further developments will be reported.

Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be directed to Andy Furey’s Department.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Furey

Assistant Secretary

LTB 486/20 – POST OFFICE HORIZON SCANDAL – POST OFFICE RESPONSE TO CCRC

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