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The Post Office Scandal

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Sluffy
luckyPeterpiper
observer
wanderlust
BoltonTillIDie
Whitesince63
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201The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue May 28 2024, 08:38

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Post Office Horizon IT scandal: 80 detectives across UK set to investigate

https://news.sky.com/story/post-office-horizon-it-scandal-80-detectives-across-uk-now-investigating-13144248

20 years too late, but better late than never.

202The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue May 28 2024, 13:02

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Ten Bobsworth wrote:Post Office Horizon IT scandal: 80 detectives across UK set to investigate

https://news.sky.com/story/post-office-horizon-it-scandal-80-detectives-across-uk-now-investigating-13144248

20 years too late, but better late than never.

You do like to scream that this has been going on for years - from the very beginning you claim - but it hasn't.

All the evidence we've seen so far is that no one outside the likes of Vennells downwards knew about any cover-up until around the time of the Clarke Advice (2013).
https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/the-first-clarke-advice/#:~:text=The%20Clarke%20Advice%20was%20written,for%20Cartwright%20King%20in%202013.&text=For%20context%20as%20to%20the,the%202013%20Simon%20Clarke%20document%3F

Even then it only began to become known that something was 'very wrong' with the Bates v Post Office case 2017 to 2019 and police investigations have been going on ever since...

Criminal investigation

When handing down the Horizon issues judgment in December 2019, Fraser said he had passed a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions relating to evidence given by Fujitsu employees in actions brought by the Post Office.[223] In January 2020, at the request of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Metropolitan Police initiated a criminal investigation into potential offences of perjury and perverting the course of justice during the investigations and prosecutions carried out by the Post Office.[224] Two former Fujitsu expert witnesses were interviewed under caution.[225] The Metropolitan Police confirmed in January 2024 that they were investigating possible additional offences of fraud in relation to "monies recovered from sub-postmasters as a result of prosecutions or civil actions".[224]

In May 2024, Stephen Clayman, the Metropolitan Police commander, confirmed that plans had been drawn up to expand the investigation into a national effort, saying, “Given the significant scale of the investigation, it has been agreed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) that the next phase of the investigation will be a national policing effort, coordinated by the Met, with the pursuit of justice at its heart.”[226]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Post_Office_scandal#Criminal_investigation

Christ even the article you linked to said this (Did you not read it before posting!!!)...

Was it TLTBR (To Long To Bother Reading) for you perhaps, or did you simply not bother because the headline was enough to fit your already preconceived Confirmation Bias?


The Post Office and Fujitsu - which developed the Horizon software - have been under police investigation for over four years following a referral from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

However, a final charging decision can only be made once the public inquiry reaches its conclusions - and while hearings are set to conclude later this year, a final report may only be published in late 2025.



Sluffy wrote:Don't you deal in facts anymore?

..dunno..

203The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue May 28 2024, 13:32

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Still not got your listening ears or your thinking head on, have you Sluffy?

I'd like to think it might be an 'anomaly' but it isn't, is it? Its a bit more 'systemic' than that.

This case happened between 2001 and 2003.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/post-office-lawyer-wanted-postmistress-to-keep-her-mouth-shut/5116789.article

204The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue May 28 2024, 15:31

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Jesus Bob, you really are blindsided by your baggage aren't you?

Something is wrong with Horizon - but who knows about it and when? - TPTB from the very beginning as you clearly believe, or is it just the few random bosses at the Royal Mail (at this point 2003)?

Is it really that the state, the establishment, the Royal Mail Board, a whole series of Prime Ministers, the mythical 'Deep State', the Illuminati or whoever you believe TPTB are, knew about this continually from 1998 to current day or is it more likely that a Vennells equivalent back in 2003 simply wanted to bury a problem that they believed ONE sub post office had encountered trouble with because a report from an  IT consultant the defence had brought in could potentially halt the daily national operation of Horizon throughout the whole of the UK and cause absolute unending chaos to the country until it was identified and fixed?

Wouldn't it be more likely that the Royal Mail thought this was a 'one-off' issue back in 2003 (otherwise why hasn't all the other post office branches been showing discrepancies too?).

In a perfect world Bob, Royal Mail would have continued to court (maybe even have won - who knows?) but on losing would have had to immediately shut all the post offices in the country down until an apparent intermittent bug in the Horizon system could be identified and fixed.

Did Royal Mail even believe the issue extended beyond the one sub post office in question?

This is from Susanne Helliwell testimony to the inquest...


Ms Price: Was there any consideration given by Weightmans to what the wider implications of this report, Mr Coyne’s report, was, going beyond the Cleveleys case?

Susanne Helliwell: No, because at that stage, as far as we were concerned or possibly the Post Office, it could have just been isolated to that particular set of equipment, that system that was in use at that branch.

https://postofficeinquiry.dracos.co.uk/phase-4/2023-07-27/


Everyone apparently believed at the time up until the Clarke Advice in 2013 (TEN YEARS LATER) that there was NO REMOTE ACCESS TO HORIZON and therefore believed the issues were contained within each individual sub post office - ie it can only be the SPMs 'fault'.

My view has been up to now (and without any evidence to the contrary arising from the inquiry to date) that the 'powers that be' only started to become aware of what was happening from 2013 onwards - around the time that Crichton was seemingly deliberately revealing it to the PO Board.

I might be wrong and TPTB had their hands all over this from day one - but I've seen NO EVIDANCE so far the supports your conspiracy theory.

If it is out there are you know about it then please link us to it - I'm sure we would ALL like to see it.

That's all I've ever asked and all I've got back from you (including today) are your childish insults!

Susanne Helliwell, the central figure in the link above you supplied, clearly saw no cover-up by POL at the time of the Wolstenholme case per her evidence to the inquiry (which I've linked you to above).

It's there in black and white for you to read Bob ffs!

205The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue May 28 2024, 22:39

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Poor old Sluffy. Sorry,there's no wrapping it up. You're just a TWERP and a waste of time.

For the record, Alan Bates wrote to his MP in January 2004 and she raised the issue with the Minister and Post Office senior management. It was all shrugged off, of course, as per usual.



It was really only when James Arbuthnot MP started taking an interest in the Jo Hamilton case that it became possible to make any progress. He and Bates, along with a few other SPMs and MPs joined common cause and eventually the dam was broken. It took years and hundreds paid a heavy price, some of them with their lives.

206The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Wed May 29 2024, 01:32

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Bob, have you realised that you are acting just like the Post Office did?

For instance -

- You don't disclose whatever it is you know.

- You are as contemptuous to me as the Post Office was to their sub-post masters.

- You think yourself better than me (indeed better than anyone!) just as the Post Office thought themselves of the sub-post masters (they viewed them as "all crooks" and chancers).

- All I've ever tried to do is get to the truth - just like what Alan Bates was doing  yet you fob me off, just like the Post Office continually tried to do with him.

Bob, you've yet to link to ANY facts to show that The Powers That Be "had their hands all over this from the start"

You don't even state who you believe 'the powers that be' even are!  You started off stating it was the government and PO Board then shortly afterwards changed it to this vague and mysterious concept akin to a 'deep state'.

Deep State
noun

A body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy.


You seem to be in complete denial of all the evidence provided to the inquiry so far pointing to the fact (which Jason Beer voiced at the inquiry) that it was Post Office EXECUTIVE Team, that kept their 'dirty laundry' to themselves to resolve AND NOT bring it to the attention of the PO Board or to the government of the day or its advisor.


I might be all of those childish names you ceaselessly continue to call me but I simply am only seeking the truth.

Can you claim to be doing the same because you've clearly made your mind up years ago that the establishment is corrupt, so now you are deaf to all that doesn't fit in with your conspiracy belief.

Every time you post, I now think this of you...

Sluffy wrote:Don't you deal in facts anymore?

And it's true - isn't it?

You really are behaving just like the Post Office have.

I bet you never even realised it have you?

Kia ora

207The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Wed May 29 2024, 08:48

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Poor Sluffy Sad Sad Sad

208The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Wed May 29 2024, 09:11

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

I might well be a poor old soul but it IS TRUE you have acted like the POST OFFICE, it is there in black and white for everyone to see, even you!



Last edited by Sluffy on Wed May 29 2024, 09:14; edited 1 time in total

209The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Wed May 29 2024, 09:12

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Sluffy wrote:I might well be a poor old soul but it IS TRUE you have acted like the POST OFFICE, it is there for everyone to see, even you.

Poor Sluffy. Sad Sad Sad Sad

210The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Wed May 29 2024, 09:49

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Sticks and stones Bob - is that all you've got?

211The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Wed May 29 2024, 09:53

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Sluffy wrote:Sticks and stones Bob - is that all you've got?
Poor Sluffy Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad

212The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Wed May 29 2024, 10:10

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

What went wrong for Royal Mail? How cuts to delivery days, second-class post and closed collection offices has left Britain missing critical hospital appointments, without birthday cards and Christmas gifts - as £3.57bn Czech takeover confirmed

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13470843/what-went-wrong-royal-mail-3-57-billion-takeover-confirmed.html

213The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Wed May 29 2024, 17:18

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Ten Bobsworth wrote:
Sluffy wrote:Sticks and stones Bob - is that all you've got?
Poor Sluffy Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad

I've warned you before Bob, I'm not here to be trolled.

Take a day off.

214The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Mon Jun 03 2024, 20:36

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

A quick explanation about this an the following two posts from me.

This post basically sets out 3 crucial documents that key people in the Post Office should have been aware of that basically all say there is remote access to Horizon

The next post is a Tweet from a woman who has read through the Head of POL Legal Jane MacLeod statement to the Inquiry BUT has refused to appear as a witness at (and so can not be questioned!).

The third is my summary of these two posts.



Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation

David Cameron's government knew the Post Office had ditched a secret investigation that might have helped wrongly accused postmasters prove their innocence, the BBC can reveal.

The 2016 investigation trawled 17 years of records to find out how often, and why, cash accounts on the Horizon IT system had been tampered with remotely.

Ministers were told an investigation was happening.

But after postmasters began legal action, it was suddenly stopped.

The secret investigation adds to evidence that the Post Office knew Horizon's creator, Fujitsu, could remotely fiddle with sub-postmaster's cash accounts - even as it argued in court, two years later, that it was impossible.

The revelations have prompted an accusation that the Post Office may have broken the law - and the government did nothing to prevent it. Paul Marshall, a barrister who represented some sub-postmasters, said: "On the face of it, it discloses a conspiracy by the Post Office to pervert the course of justice."

The secret investigation was uncovered through a BBC analysis of confidential government documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, from a time in 2015 and 2016 when the Post Office was under growing pressure to get to the bottom of sub-postmasters' claims of injustice.

The documents show how the secret 2016 investigation - looking into Fujitsu's use of remote access from 1999 onwards - had come out of a review by former top Treasury lawyer Jonathan Swift QC. The Swift review had been ordered by the government, with approval from then-business secretary Sajid Javid.

It would conclude that it had found "real issues" for the Post Office.

Mr Swift had found a briefing for the Post Office board from an earlier review in 2014, carried out by auditors from Deloitte and codenamed Project Zebra, detailing how Fujitsu could change branch accounts.

Having seen that evidence, the Swift review said the Post Office must carry out a further investigation into how often and why this capability was used.

Deloitte returned in February 2016 to begin the trawl of all Horizon transactions since its launch 17 years earlier.

Ministers, including Mr Javid, were told this new work was under way to "address suggestions that branch accounts might have been remotely altered without complainants' knowledge".

But in June 2016, when sub-postmasters launched their legal action, the government was told through Post Office minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe that the investigation had been scrapped on "very strong advice" from the senior barrister representing them.

The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 _132690071_government_po_1280-nc-1

There is no evidence in the documents that then-prime minister David Cameron knew about the investigation or that it had been ditched.

It meant that over two years, the Post Office had spent millions of pounds on three separate reviews into remote access - Project Zebra, the Swift review and the 2016 Deloitte investigation - while publicly claiming it was impossible.

But all three were buried by the Post Office. Neither the Swift review nor Project Zebra were disclosed to sub-postmasters, depriving them of vital information that could have helped them in court; and the Deloitte investigation was halted before it could deliver its findings.

Project Zebra, the first of the three reviews, was described as a "desktop review". The Post Office board had hoped it would give "comfort about the Horizon system" to them and others outside the business who had concerns about it.

The consultants examined Horizon documents and talked to employees at Fujitsu and the Post Office to check how the system was functioning and whether it was achieving its objectives.

Unredacted documents obtained by the BBC show that in April 2014, members of a sub-committee of the Post Office board discussed Deloitte's Project Zebra work.

The sub-committee included chief executive Paula Vennells, general counsel Chris Aujard and Richard Callard, a senior civil servant at the government body which owned the Post Office.

The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 _132690072_4_postoffice_po_artwork_1280-nc

The next month, Deloitte submitted its full report and in June it wrote a briefing for the Post Office board, which outlined two separate ways Fujitsu could alter branch accounts. Extracts from the board briefing are quoted verbatim by the Swift review but the briefing itself has not been released.

It said the auditors had learned that authorised Fujitsu staff with the right database access privileges could use fake digital signatures or keys to delete, create or amend data on customer purchases that had been electronically signed by sub-postmasters. Fujitsu staff could then "re-sign it with a fake key".

Deloitte said Fujitsu staff had also been able to correct errors using an emergency process known as a "balancing transaction", which can "create transactions directly in branch ledgers".

It noted the process "does not require positive acceptance or approval by the sub-postmaster".

Yet the findings of Project Zebra were never disclosed to investigating accountants Second Sight who, since 2012, had been publicly tasked by the Post Office with looking in to sub-postmasters' claims.

The Post Office continued to claim for a further five years that it was impossible for remote tinkering by Fujitsu to alter cash balances in Post Office branch accounts.

In 2015, it lied to BBC executives as it sought to prevent the broadcast of the first Panorama expose of the scandal, briefing them that there was "simply no evidence" that remote tinkering by Fujitsu could have caused branch losses.

The documents that have now been analysed by the BBC reveal that following the Panorama broadcast, Post Office minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe wrote to the incoming chairman, Tim Parker, asking him to give the concerns about possible miscarriages of justice his "earliest attention" and take any necessary action. Business Secretary Sajid Javid approved the letter.

The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 _132689641_3_postoffice_po_artwork_2_1280-nc

Mr Parker said he would undertake a review of the Horizon system and "various claims that sub-postmasters had been wrongly prosecuted as a result of faults in the system", according to a briefing sent to Mr Javid on 20 November 2015, which was heavily redacted in the released documents.

Mr Parker appointed Jonathan Swift QC and barrister Christopher Knight. They were so concerned about the implications of the Project Zebra documents, they said it was "incumbent" on the Post Office to find out how often these two means of altering branch accounts had been used, "in the light of the consistent impression given that they don't exist at all".

The Swift review, dated 8 February 2016, noted that the Post Office "had always known" about the balancing transaction capability.

It also said the Post Office may be obliged by law to show the documents to postmasters who were seeking to overturn their convictions.

In response to a recommendation in the Swift review, Deloitte was asked within days to return to the Post Office to carry out a full independent review of Horizon, following up on its work on Project Zebra.

The mammoth and expensive task was to trawl back through all the transactions since Horizon began operating - work which was anticipated to take three months.

The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 _132689915_5.swift145_pt1-ncpostoffice-nc

In a letter of 4 March 2016, Post Office chair Tim Parker wrote to Baroness Neville-Rolfe about the Swift review's findings and recommendations. That included informing her about Deloitte's follow-up work.

He said it would "address suggestions that branch accounts might have been remotely altered without complainants' knowledge" and review "security controls governing access to the digitally sealed electronic audit store of branch accounts".

He added that he had "commissioned independent persons to undertake the necessary work", and in a later briefing informed the minister that this was Deloitte.

The letter did not explicitly mention Project Zebra or Deloitte's earlier findings about how branch accounts could be remotely altered.

In April, the Post Office notified the government that the sub-postmasters had begun their group legal action against it. Baroness Neville-Rolfe and Mr Javid were sent a briefing, updating them on the investigation's progress and discussing how the legal action would affect it.

The briefing, sent before a meeting with Mr Parker, was heavily redacted when it was released under a Freedom of Information Act request. But it said Mr Parker was on track to complete the follow-up work by the end of May and would update Baroness Neville-Rolfe on its progress.

However, the documents seen by the BBC reveal that in June, Deloitte's three-month investigation was suddenly stopped just before it could be completed.

On 21 June 2016, Tim Parker told Baroness Neville-Rolfe he had taken the decision on the advice of an unnamed senior barrister for the Post Office.

He told her the detailed work being carried out by Deloitte was "complex, costly and time consuming" but that good progress had been made. "I had hoped that by now I would be in a position to draw my investigation to a close," Mr Parker wrote.

"However, given the High Court proceedings to which I refer above, Post Office Limited has received very strong advice from Leading Counsel that the work being undertaken under the aegis of my review should come to an immediate end… I have therefore instructed that the work being undertaken pursuant to my review should now be stopped."

The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 _132689642_3.parker_letter-ncpostoffice-nc

In response to the BBC's questions, Mr Parker said he had "sought and acted upon the legal advice he was given", but said it would not be appropriate to comment further while the public inquiry into the Horizon scandal was ongoing.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe told the BBC she had said publicly that she had instructed the Post Office chairman to commission an independent review, but declined to comment further while the inquiry was ongoing. Mr Javid also declined to comment because of the public inquiry.

In his High Court judgment at the end of the sub-postmasters' legal action in 2019, judge Sir Peter Fraser found the Post Office's defence claim - that Fujitsu could not insert transactions in branch accounts - was "simply untrue". He said the Post Office had "expressly denied" that remote access was possible "and that denial is now shown to be wrong".

The barrister who represented a number of wrongly prosecuted sub-postmasters, Mr Marshall, told the BBC it looked as though the Post Office had conspired to pervert the course of justice.

Paula Vennells, the former chief executive of the Post Office, did not respond to the BBC's requests for comment. Chris Aujard, then Post Office general counsel, and Richard Callard, the civil servant who represented the government on the board, declined to comment while the public inquiry was ongoing.

UK Government Investments (UKGI), the government body which owns the Post Office, addressed what the board knew about these successive reviews and investigations in an opening statement in 2022 to the ongoing public inquiry into the Horizon scandal.

It said there was no indication in the minutes of the Post Office board meeting in June 2014 that the board had received the Project Zebra briefing. UKGI said Mr Callard "does not recall ever receiving such a briefing".

The statement said the board had not asked for a copy of Deloitte's full report at the time of Project Zebra. UKGI said the board had been given an executive summary by the Post Office general counsel Chris Aujard, which was "focused on Deloitte's approach to the review but importantly did not set out its findings".

It said the board had also never received the 2016 Swift report, nor been briefed in detail on its findings. The statement said Tim Parker did not send Swift's full report to the Post Office Board and that his letter of 4 March 2016 to Baroness Neville-Rolfe did not make clear how serious the Swift review's findings were.


The revelations uncovered by the BBC also raise serious questions for the public inquiry by Sir Wyn Williams, as to whether it is adequately scrutinising what the government knew about the Post Office's internal investigations.

In UKGI's 2022 statement to the inquiry, there was no reference to Tim Parker's letter to Baroness Neville-Rolfe of 21 June 2016, notifying her he was calling off Deloitte's investigation.

In 2018, two years after completing his review, Sir Jonathan Swift, formerly First Treasury Counsel - the top civil lawyer at Her Majesty's Treasury - was appointed to be a High Court judge. He received a knighthood in the same year.

However, in the list of upcoming witnesses at the Williams inquiry, his name is absent.

Full article here -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-68146054

215The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Mon Jun 03 2024, 20:44

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

216The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Mon Jun 03 2024, 21:18

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Summary

The fist of the two posts above I thought did a very good job of summarising what SOME PEOPLE inside the Post Office knew about Fujitsu having remote access to Horizon.

However my view so far is that the people who knew seemingly did not pass the information upwards to the people who needed to know - namely the Post Office Board and the government.

Although the BBC article is even entitled that the government KNEW about the remote access, there is nowhere in the article that gives any evidence that they did UNTIL the Swift report when the government initially told the PO to get their finger out find out what the fuck was going on (the Swift Report was then commissioned),

The PO Chairman Tim Parker wrote back when he got the Swift Report that it give rise to concerns remote access may be possible so he commissioned another report to look into see if this indeed was the case.

Then Bates v POL High Court case commenced and Parker was advised by a senior legal officer to halt this report whilst the court case was in progress.

Parker informed the government accordingly.

If we move on to the Tweet and the submission from MacLeod - we KNOW it was MacLeod who advised Parker not to provide the Swift Report to the PO Board.

We KNOW MacLeod has REFUSED to appear before the Inquiry - wow!

MacLeod in her statement says she briefed the PO Board.

The following statement made by UK Government Investments (UKGI), the government body which owns the Post Office, to the Inquiry in 2022 stated this...

It said the board had also never received the 2016 Swift report, nor been briefed in detail on its findings. The statement said Tim Parker did not send Swift's full report to the Post Office Board and that his letter of 4 March 2016 to Baroness Neville-Rolfe did not make clear how serious the Swift review's findings were.



Seems to me that MacLeod's recollections do not match with the governments recollections.

Wouldn't it have been useful to question MacLeod on this like they will with Lucy Neiville-Rolfe (the government minister who said - get your finger out Post Office and find out what has been going on), Tim Parker (Chair of the PO Board and the bloke she told it to) and Richard Callard (he of UKGI the stuff in red above)...?

217The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue Jun 04 2024, 02:30

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

And if by magic, this has just popped up on the BBC News site...

BBC challenges ex-Post Office lawyer in Australia



The Post Office’s most senior in-house lawyer when it fought the landmark case brought by Alan Bates and other sub-postmasters has been challenged by BBC News in Australia, after she refused to appear before the public inquiry into the Horizon scandal.

A BBC team questioned Jane MacLeod, who was the Post Office’s General Counsel between 2015 and 2019, while she was walking her dog outside her home in Sydney.

She replied with “no comment” when asked why she wasn’t attending. She had been due to give evidence this week.

Born in Australia, Jane MacLeod returned to live there in 2020.

Last month Sir Wyn Williams, chair of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry, revealed that while Ms MacLeod had submitted a witness statement, she had decided not to give oral evidence, despite being asked to do so.

The inquiry heard that the reason, offered by Ms MacLeod’s lawyers, was that given the passage of time, she considered her written statement was the best evidence she could offer.

Since then, Ms MacLeod has not responded to BBC requests for comment.

Sir Wyn said that even before seeing her written evidence, he’d decided that Ms MacLeod was “an important witness” from whom he wished to hear in person.

He added that despite the offer to have her travel and accommodation expenses covered, Ms MacLeod “has made it clear that she will not co-operate with the inquiry by providing oral evidence”, either in person or via video-link.

However, Sir Wyn explained that his options to force her to attend were limited because she lived abroad.

Under the Inquiries Act 2005, witnesses can be legally compelled to give evidence – but this only applies to UK nationals.

In her written statement to the inquiry, Ms MacLeod says: “I am very aware that the decisions in which I was involved during my time at Post Office Limited regarding the group litigation and the investigation of Horizon's performance and robustness have had implications for many sub-postmasters and their families.”

She adds: “I regret that this has happened and apologise to those so affected for the adverse outcomes they have suffered.”

Jane MacLeod was the General Counsel at the Post Office covering the period when it fought sub-postmasters in court in the landmark litigation led by Alan Bates.

Giving evidence last month, the former boss of the Post Office, Paula Vennells named Jane MacLeod as one of the senior executives she had trusted to give her information – when asked by Sam Stein KC to list those who had let her down.

Ms Vennells also recounted asking Ms MacLeod why they were proceeding with the court case against sub-postmasters, which she said had felt “completely wrong”.

She told the inquiry that, after first suggesting the Post Office would most likely settle the cases, Ms MacLeod’s view had been that the court case was “the only way to solve this”.

Full article here -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/czdd33qd1j0o

218The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue Jun 04 2024, 11:14

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Was today's witness, POL's CFO Chris Day, 'theoretically' head-hunted by the 'twerps r us' agency?

Ex-BBC apparently. What a surprise! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
 
See 'heavily redacted' but still interesting Board minutes.

.

https://www.jfsa.org.uk/uploads/5/4/3/1/54312921/document_31_-_pol_minutes_of_16_july_board_meeting__black_redactions__1.pdf


The Board wanted to know whether they, 'the Board,' were insured?

CFO to check it out

219The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue Jun 04 2024, 13:57

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Those are the minutes of the Post Office Board meeting that Crichton was made to sit outside "like a naughty schoolgirl" because she had been informed only the day before it of the Clarke advice (about the unsafe expert witness testimony that people are being convicted on).  The inference being she was deliberately stopped from telling the board what really was happening.

The board instead was given a 'glowing' endorsement of Horizon'! -


The inquiry heard that Ms Crichton was “made to wait outside on a chair”, which Ms Vennells said she “felt bad about”.

Mr Beer asked: “Sitting there like a naughty schoolgirl?”

Ms Vennells said: “She must have felt terrible.”

The former Post Office boss denied taking over the paper and presenting it to prevent the board from hearing Ms Crichton’s “opinion” and explained that she was expecting the lawyer to come in to the meeting but “minutes before that should have happened the chairman told me she had decided to stand Susan down”.

Mr Beer asked: “Did you say ‘I’m not a legal expert, the person that is is sitting outside on a chair?’.”

Ms Vennells replied: “I’m sure I did, but the chairman… I think she possibly had the thought of bringing Susan in at some stage, I’m not sure how Susan would have felt about that, but the board ran out of time and Susan didn’t come in.”

The former chief executive also denied putting “spin” on the Second Sight report in the board meeting.

Minutes of the meeting recorded: “The CEO explained that although the Second Sight report had been challenging it had highlighted some positive things as well as improvement opportunities.”

Asked if that was “to put it mildly spin on the Second Sight report”, Ms Vennells said: “I don’t believe I was doing that.”


In keeping with the theme of my last few posts, it was Jane MacLeod (she who refused to testify in person to the inquiry) who advised Chris Day NOT to inform the PO insurance company as it would reflect badly on the PO's prosecutions!

Also FWIW Day had an extensive and very impressive and lengthy CV of working in corporate finance prior to the BBC.

220The Post Office Scandal - Page 11 Empty Re: The Post Office Scandal Tue Jun 04 2024, 16:56

Ten Bobsworth


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

They were all getting seriously twitchy by July 2013, weren't they just?

Get shreddin, be uber careful about anything that might leave a document trail and get shut of Crichton. No room at POL for folk that might be worried about legal ethics.

Interesting document that came out of the woodwork this afty though. I can't help wondering where that surfaced from.

The only thing polished about the unimpressive Mr Day were his finger nails. He must have thought he was being smart as a tack when he was quick to say 'the document' wasn't mentioned in the minutes and he never saw it.

 It kind of gave the game away. It doesn't mean he didn't know what was in it and the insurance repercussions were his responsibility. So were the implications for the Accounts and Annual Report.

I think its Mrs Straw up next. That should be interesting.

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