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    Bill to quash Post Office Horizon convictions receives Royal Assent

    Convictions of hundreds of postmasters have been quashed on Friday following Royal Assent of the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024.

    Many postmasters endured financial ruin, the loss of homes, livelihoods, reputation and some even lost their lives as a result of the Horizon IT Scandal which is considered as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British history.

    Following Royal Assent, all convictions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will now be quashed providing they meet the following criteria:

    • Prosecutions were brought about by the Post Office or CPS (or in Northern Ireland, the state prosecutor or the police).
    • Offences were carried out in connection with Post Office business between 1996 and 2018.
    • Were for relevant offences such as theft, fraud and false accounting.
    • Were against sub-postmasters, their employees, officers, family members or direct employees of the Post Office working in a Post Office that used the Horizon system software.
    • The conviction has not been considered by the Court of Appeal

    A new legislation has been introduced to the Scottish parliament last week to exonerate Scottish sub-postmasters wrongly convicted as a result of the faulty Horizon IT system.

    The Westminster bill made it to list of the bills in the business on Thursday scheduled to be debated before parliament shuts down for the election, and received Royal Assent the following day.

    Postmasters will be written to in the coming weeks as the process for notifying them of their overturned convictions commences. An open letter to postmasters to set out next steps has also been published today.

    The Department for Business and Trade said it will continue to work on the new Horizon Convictions Redress Scheme for those who have had their convictions quashed by thes legislation. This will be fully operational by the summer.

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