Horizon Scandal: Ministers to meet to discuss options

Horizon Scandal: Ministers to meet to discuss options

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has told the BBC that the government was reviewing options to help victims of the Post Office Horizon scandal saying it was  “right that we find every which way we can do to try to make this right for the people who were so wrongfully treated at the time”.

More than 700 branch managers were convicted of false accounting, theft and fraud based on faulty software.

There has been renewed attention on the case  since the start of the year due to an ITV dramatisation of the scandal, Mr Bates vs the Post Office: The Real Story.

Justice secretary Alex Chalk will meet Kevin Hollinrake, the minister for the Post Office, today.

The BBC has said that Mr Chalk and Mr Hollinrake will talk to government lawyers to “explore mechanisms to lawfully attempt to speed up addressing what is widely seen as a huge miscarriage of justice.”

Horizon Scandal

What has become known as the ‘Horizon IT Scandal’ involves a dispute, between Post Office and a group of Postmasters, which took place over many years. It primarily concerned the reliability of the Horizon computer system used in post offices and issues related to Postmasters’ contracts and the culture of Post Office at the time.

The dispute culminated in civil litigation at the High Court, which concluded after a jointly agreed settlement in 2019. Several months later, in 2020, appeals of criminal cases in which Post Office had acted as prosecutor began through the criminal courts.

An independent public Inquiry into the Horizon IT scandal was established in September 2020. Following a request from its Chair, Sir Wyn Williams, it became a statutory inquiry in June 2021. Post Office is fully participating to assist its work.

On 30 June 2022 Government announced a planned compensation package for GLO claimants.

Post Office Chief Executive, Nick Read, has previously said he welcomes the drama and encourages those who have been affected to seek redress if they have not already done so.

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