Horizon Inquiry launches call for evidence

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A Post Office sign is displayed outside a branch on December 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry has launched a call for evidence inviting views related to the IT system and events associated with its use at Post Office branches.

Inquiry Chair Sir Wyn Williams said he would like to make clear his wish to receive a body of evidence relating to the human impact of the Horizon dispute, which saw over 550 sub-postmasters successfully suing Post Office over the failings of the system.

“I am very pleased that we have reached the point of a Call for Evidence in accordance with the timetable we set ourselves and I look forward to receiving a substantial volume of evidence both written and oral which will ensure that the Inquiry is very well equipped to ensure that it fulfills its terms of reference,” he said.

The call for evidence will seek questions from the public to be posed to the participants in the stage 2 open evidence session, which will focus upon hearing from the Post Office Limited, Fujitsu and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Last month, Sir Wyn has published a Statement of Approach, stating that senior members of the Post Office, Horizon developer Fujitsu and the BEIS department will be invited to give evidence in formal open sessions as part of the Inquiry.

The non-statutory inquiry, launched in October, follows a settlement of £57.75 million in December 2019 between Post Office and claimant sub-postmasters who took the network to the court over the Horizon IT system.

A week after the settlement, the High Court has ruled in favour of the postmasters. The long-running case dealt with the Post Office’s accusations of stealing by postmasters from their branches which the litigants say are caused by discrepancies in the Horizon system.