Britain’s prime minister to overturn convictions of wrongly accused postmasters – Everything Law and Order Blog




The U.K. is introducing measures to overturn the convictions of over 700 post office branch managers wrongly accused of theft or fraud.The scandal involved postmasters falsely convicted of stealing money as the Post Office’s computers incorrectly indicated missing funds from their shops.Between 1999 and 2015, more than 700 postal branch managers were wrongly convicted, with only 93 successfully overturning their convictions.Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Wednesday he will introduce measures to overturn the convictions of more than 700 post office branch managers who were wrongly accused of theft or fraud because of a faulty computer system.The scandal, which saw hundreds of postmasters falsely convicted of stealing money because Post Office computers wrongly showed that funds were missing from their shops, is thought to be the most widespread miscarriage of justice in British history.Of the more than 700 postal branch managers who were convicted of theft or fraud between 1999 and 2015, just 93 have managed to overturn their convictions. Some were sent to prison, and many were financially ruined after being forced to pay large sums to the state-owned Post Office. Several killed themselves.FORMER HEAD OF BRITAIN’S POST OFFICE SURRENDERS ROYAL HONOR AFTER HUNDREDS OF POSTMASTERS WRONGFULLY ACCUSEDThe real culprit was a defective accounting software package called Horizon, which was supplied by the Japanese technology firm Fujitsu. Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of Prime Ministers Questions in parliament, in London, on Jan. 10, 2024. Sunak says he will introduce measures to overturn the convictions of more than 700 post office branch managers who were wrongly accused of theft or fraud because of a faulty computer system. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)Sunak told lawmakers that a new law will be introduced to ensure that those wrongly convicted are “swiftly exonerated and compensated.”The state-owned Post Office maintained for years that data from Horizon was reliable and accused branch managers of dishonesty.Police have opened a fraud investigation into the Post Office, but so far, no one from the company or from Fujitsu has been arrested or faced criminal charges. A public inquiry has been ongoing since 2022.CHINA DETAINS SUSPECT ACCUSED OF SPYING FOR BRITAIN’S SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICEWhile the scandal has rumbled on for years, it hit the headlines again this week after a hit TV docudrama renewed outrage over it. The ITV show, “Mr. Bates vs the Post Office,” charted a two-decade battle by branch manager Alan Bates, played by Toby Jones, to expose the truth and clear the wronged postal workers.On Tuesday, ex-Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells said she would relinquish the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire that she received in 2018. An online petition calling for her to be stripped of the honor had garnered more than 1.2 million supporters.



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