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    Horizon: Post Office to not contest four more Horizon appeals, but opposes six others

    (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

    Post Office today (11 August) told the Court of Appeal that it will not be contesting four applications by former subpostmasters for permission to appeal their convictions in Horizon prosecutions.

    The firm however decided to oppose six cases and sought more time to obtain further information in two other applications.

    Post Office said each case has been carefully considered by its board, including in the light of the Court of Appeal’s Judgment in April in relation to previous appeals, to arrive at the decision.

    The cases pertained to prosecutions between 2002 and 2013 and the Post Office is now not contesting any appeals in cases where evidence from the Horizon accounting system may have been used. It has also written to 540 former subpostmasters to say they may have been wrongfully prosecuted.

    “Post Office is taking determined action to fairly address miscarriages of justice and to compensate the people affected,” a spokesperson said.

    “We are continuing to make strenuous efforts to contact and assist people with potentially relevant historical convictions to appeal if they wish.”

    Last month, the Court of Appeal has formally quashed 12 Horizon convictions of former subpostmasters, with the Post Office not contesting the appeals. The firm then chose to oppose 15 other appeals which have been referred to a single judge to decide whether the court will grant permission to appeal.

    Earlier in April, the Court of Appeal has quashed 39 convictions related to the scandal. Eight convictions have also been overturned by Southwark Crown Court.

    Appeals of convictions followed a 2019 High Court judgment which found two earlier versions of Horizon system as ‘not robust’ and of ‘questionable’ robustness, not justifying the “confidence placed in it by the Post Office in terms of its accuracy.”

    The scandal saw the Post Office use its private prosecution powers over a 15-year period from 2000 onwards to prosecute and convict postmasters of crimes. Post Office no longer undertakes private prosecutions.

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