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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Exonerations for Wrongly Convicted Sub-Postmasters

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Post Office Horizon law coming into force.

Sub-postmasters in Scotland who were wrongly convicted as a result of the Post Office Horizon scandal will be automatically exonerated tomorrow (14 June 2024).

The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences (Scotland) Act received Royal Assent today (13 June 2024) and comes into force tomorrow.

The legislation was passed in the Scottish Parliament on 30 May 2024 to deliver justice to victims as swiftly as possible and enable them to access the UK Government financial redress scheme.

Working with the Crown Office, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Post Office, the Scottish Government will notify those affected and ensure police and court records are amended.

There is also a route for victims to bring their cases to the attention of Ministers.

Justice Secretary Angela Constance has written an open letter to sub-postmasters setting out next steps.

The Justice Secretary said:

“This legislation automatically exonerates sub-postmasters who were convicted of crimes of dishonesty that they did not commit due to the Post Office’s faulty Horizon IT system, meaning they are eligible to access the redress scheme.

“Of course, no amount of compensation can fully mend the lives that were torn apart by this miscarriage of justice.

“I do hope, however, that this legislation goes some way to righting the terrible wrongs of the past.

“I will be writing to those affected to tell them their convictions have been quashed and ensuring court records are changed, so the victims of this scandal can have their good names restored as quickly as possible.

“They have already waited too long for justice.”

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