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    ‘Fight is still on for accountability,’ says Post Office IT scandal victim ahead of key witness from Fujitsu engineer

    (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

    The fight is still on for compensation and accountability over the Horizon scandal, Seema Misra, a former Post Office sub-postmaster who was wrongly convicted of stealing £70,000 from her Post Office branch in Surrey, said today (25) as the ongoing public inquiry is set to hear from Gareth Jenkins, the former Fujitsu engineer who is often referred to as the architect of the faulty Horizon IT system.

    Asked about what she remembers of the court proceedings, Misra told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “I clearly remember because it happened in October 2010.”

    “I was eight weeks pregnant and on my eldest son’s 10th birthday – I was sentenced for 15 months. It was horrible.

    She added, “I lost faith in the system. I thought if I could be sent to prison for the crime I never committed anything is possible. But the fight is still on for compensation and accountability.”

    Today marks the first of Jenkins’s four-day testimony giving evidence on his role in the wrongful convictions of over 900 sub-postmasters between 1999 and 2015.  His examination was first scheduled for July 2023 but was postponed following the discovery of over 4,000 key documents that the Post Office had not shared in time for the session. 

    It was then rescheduled for November 2023 but prolonged again after the discovery of another 3,000 documents. 

    Sir Wyn Williams, the Inquiry chair, warned the Post Office that future disclosure requests would be accompanied by the threat of criminal sanction for failure to comply following the first postponement.

    Jenkin’s appearance at the inquiry also marks the last of several high-profile figures who have given evidence as the inquiry nears its conclusion. 

    Over the inquiry’s fifth and sixth phase, Sir Wyn Williams, the Inquiry chair, has heard from complaints handler Angela van den Bogerd and former Post Office chairman Alice Perkins. Paula Vennells, the former Post Office chief executive, faced three days of questioning from May 22, at which the disgraced boss sobbed while declaring her love for the company. 

    The inquiry will also hear from Tim Parker, former Post Office Chair, and politicians Sir Ed Davey and Jo Swinson over the next few weeks. This stage of the inquiry is set to conclude by July 31 with the next stage beginning in September 2024. 

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