Scottish Horizon law comes into force

Scottish sub-postmasters have been exonerated

Scottish sub-postmasters have officially been exonerated as the new Post Office Offences (Scotland) bill has come into power, clearing the names of the wrongfully accused.

WRONGFULLY accused Scottish sub-postmasters have officially been exonerated of their crimes caused by the Post Office Horizon scandal.

The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences (Scotland) bill received Royal Assent on 13 June and has now come into force following the legislation being passed in Scottish Parliament on 30 May to bring justice to those sub-postmasters that were wrongfully convicted as quickly as possible.

Angela Constance (pictured), justice secretary at The Scottish Government, 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.”

ScotGov has said it will be working alongside the Crown Office, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Post Office to notify those affected by the new bill and ensure that police and court records are amended.

The Scottish Government has also previously confirmed that Scottish postmasters who qualify under this bill will have access to the UK Government’s compensation scheme, which is promising the wrongfully accused at least £600,000 each.

There is also a route for victims to bring their case to the attention to ministers to highlight unique convictions, such as with Ravinder Naga who BBC News reported took the blame when his mother was accused of stealing from the Post Office due to the failures of the Horizon system.

Constance said: “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.”