The Post Office is under the spotlight for reportedly stalling Horizon compensation payouts for 72 overturned criminal convictions.
More than 700 branch managers were given charges between 2000 and 2014 when a faulty Fujitsu accounting software made it look as if money was missing. This caused significant trauma and financial ruin for many employees, with some even facing prison time for the errors.
Nonetheless, one of the lawyers leading the claims, Neil Hudgell, said the victims and company executives were “poles apart” on agreeing damages, despite many of the postmasters desperate to put the ordeal behind them.
He added that the process was not progressing quickly enough and time was of the essence for many of the older claimants: “Our clients want closure, but we are not yet there”.
In a statement this morning, Post Office said it had provided “swift financial relief with interim payments of up to £100,000 to the overwhelming majority” of the 73 victims, and continued to work transparently alongside the inquiry. The scandal has been cast as the UK’s biggest miscarriage of justice
Increasing pressure has also been placed on the Japanese firm Fujitsu for its role in the scandal.
It is understood that Fujitsu has failed to commit to any compensation to date, despite a 2019 court case uncovering evidence of Fujitsu bugs in the Horizon computer system.