The UK’s Metropolitan Police confirmed to The Occasions on Friday that it launched an investigation into the Publish Workplace over the “widest miscarriage of justice in British historical past” that noticed a whole bunch of postmasters falsely accused of theft and prosecuted. The investigation considerations potential fraud expenses and stemmed from an ITV drama, Mr Bates vs The Publish Workplace, that follows the story of Alan Bates, one of many postmasters who had been dismissed from their job.
Greater than 700 postmasters had been wrongfully accused of misappropriating funds between 1999 and 2015 as a result of technical points with the accounting software program utilized by the Publish Workplace branches. These accused had been both dismissed, prosecuted and imprisoned or ordered to pay giant compensations to the corporate. Many individuals had been bankrupted and a few even took their very own lives.
The Courtroom of Enchantment overturned the convictions of 39 individuals implicated by the error in 2021 after it dominated that their prosecution was an “abuse of course of” and an “affront to justice.” The court docket acknowledged the technical points had been brought on by Horizon and located that the Publish Workplace knew of those issues, and due to this fact intentionally did not adjust to their disclosure obligations. It has since overturned greater than 90 instances concerning the matter.
To treatment victims’ losses, the UK authorities announced in September 2023 that postmasters who’ve had their convictions quashed might obtain £600,000 in compensation.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters that the federal government has put in place “three totally different compensation schemes which have already paid out virtually £150 million to hundreds of people that had been affected.” He additional inspired individuals who “suppose they need to have a declare” to “come ahead, discuss to the authorities, so we will get their claims processed as shortly as doable.” He additionally stated the Justice Secretary is “ different choices for the way we will present assist for individuals.”
The Legal Instances Evaluation Fee (CCRC), an unbiased organisation that investigates convictions and sentences, encouraged individuals who imagine they’ve been wrongfully convicted to problem their conviction.
Source / Picture: jurist.org
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