Wrongly convicted Post Office workers to get up to £100,000 interim payouts

郵便局ITスキャンダル workers who have had convictions for theft, fraud and false accounting resulting from computing errors quashed will each get an interim compensation payment of up to £100,000 the government has said.

a written statement to the Commons 木曜日に, the business secretary, クワシ・クワーテン, said the government was supporting the Post Office to provide the cash before final compensation settlements are agreed.

The announcement came three days after 12 more Post Office workers had their convictions quashed at the court of appeal. Monday’s judgment took the total number of Post Office workers to be cleared after being convicted because the defective Horizon IT system falsely suggested there were cash shortfalls to 57.

Campaigners believe that as many as 900 operators, often known as subpostmasters, may have been prosecuted and convicted between 2000 そして 2014, in one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

Some of the convicted workers were jailed, lost their livelihoods and their homes. Many went bankrupt – and some died before their names were cleared.

The postal affairs minister, ポール・スカリー, 前記: “The suffering and distress these postmasters and their families have gone through cannot be overstated. While nothing will make up for the years of pain they faced after this appalling injustice, I hope this initial step provides a measure of comfort.

郵便局ITスキャンダル has started to turn a corner in terms of dealing with its past mistakes – and this government will support them in doing so wherever possible.”

The Post Office is contacting postmasters and will aim to make an offer for an interim payment within 28 days of receiving an application from those whose overturned convictions relied on evidence from the Horizon system, supplied by Fujitsu.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission said it is reviewing more cases while others have lodged appeals directly with the court of appeal. 5月, the Post Office said that it was contacting about 540 人 who may have been wrongly prosecuted and seeking additional information in another 100 場合. If and when further such convictions are quashed, those postmasters will also be eligible for the compensation payments announced on Thursday, ビジネス部門, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.

12月中 2019, the Post Office settled a civil claim brought by 555 claimants, without admitting liability, for £57.75m. しかしながら, this amounted to £12m after legal costs – less than £22,000 each.

今年の4月に, the same month as 39 subpostmasters had their convictions quashed, the Post Office chief executive, Nick Read, called on the government to fund “meaningful compensation” to those wrongfully convicted, saying the company “simply does not have the financial resources” to do so.

木曜日に, 彼は言った: “Ensuring compensation is made as quickly as possible is a priority for Post Office. I welcome the government’s support to enable these interim payments that begin to provide some redress to people who were badly failed. Whilst we cannot change the past, this is an important step towards meaningful compensation for victims and we will offer payments as soon as possible.”

Following a public outcry after the 39 Post Office workers were cleared the following month the government announced it would put the independent inquiry into the Horizon scandal on a statutory footing, meaning it will have the power to compel witnesses and demand evidence, with fines or imprisonment for non-compliance.

The Communication Workers Union has called for criminal investigations into senior Post Office figures who “oversaw the criminalisation of hundreds of postmasters”.