Exonerations for wrongly convicted subpostmasters

Exonerations for wrongly convicted subpostmasters

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Sub-postmasters in Scotland who were wrongly convicted as a result of the Post Office Horizon scandal have now been exonerated.

The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences (Scotland) Act received royal assent yesterday and came into force today. The legislation was passed in the Scottish Parliament on 30 May.

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.

She 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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