Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Discussions about serious topics, for serious people
User avatar
Fishnut
After Pie
Posts: 2444
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Mon Jan 01, 2024 10:32 pm

It's honestly baffling to me how post office and Fujitsu execs aren't in jail right now. They knowingly allowed people to be prosecuted and have their lives destroyed. The least they can do is face the same.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

User avatar
Stranger Mouse
After Pie
Posts: 2282
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:23 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Stranger Mouse » Mon Jan 01, 2024 10:53 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2024 10:32 pm
It's honestly baffling to me how post office and Fujitsu execs aren't in jail right now. They knowingly allowed people to be prosecuted and have their lives destroyed. The least they can do is face the same.
If there was any justice they would but there isn’t any justice.

I listen to the All In With Chris Hayes podcast and when he has been talking about the American system he says “you get as much process as you can afford” - normally when comparing the fates of Trump and the Jan 6 thugs. Trump has spent all his life fighting legal cases until his opponents run out of money rather than winning in the merits. It’s just disappointing to find the Post Office following the same game plan.
I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list if that’s still in the works

IvanV
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2585
Joined: Mon May 17, 2021 11:12 am

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by IvanV » Mon Jan 01, 2024 10:55 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2024 10:32 pm
It's honestly baffling to me how post office and Fujitsu execs aren't in jail right now. They knowingly allowed people to be prosecuted and have their lives destroyed. The least they can do is face the same.
Once that first big case was won, it seemed unarguable that offences had been committed by people in the Post Office and their advisors and contractors. That case concluded in 2019, over 4 years ago. Why are we hearing nothing still about prosecutions of those people, at the very least for perjury? At the time, we had a discussions over what other offences they might be prosecuted for, and some convincing sources were pointed at suggesting what those offences should be, things like malicious prosecution, misconduct in public office, etc.

Everything bad that involves people in power gets kicked into the long grass in this country. And having an Inquiry kicks things into very long grass. Everything is on hold while the Inquiry takes an unconscionable amount of time. And these Inquiries take longer and longer and longer. The Williams Inquiry was due to finish in 2022, but seems to have a long life time ahead of it still.

Normally in large scandals when the compensation isn't finally agreed until 30-odd years later so that most of the claimants are dead, there is some kind of an argument about whether compensation is due and who did it and whether it was cock-up or negligence. In the present case, these are not even points of discussion. The uncertainty is about how much compensation and how many offences they committed. And still they spin it out.

User avatar
Tessa K
Light of Blast
Posts: 4681
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Tessa K » Tue Jan 02, 2024 9:35 am

I'm about half way through. Toby Jones is excellent and Ian Hart is always great.

Hard to watch without getting angry.

User avatar
snoozeofreason
Snowbonk
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:22 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by snoozeofreason » Tue Jan 02, 2024 11:23 am

We got 20 minutes into the TV programme and then had to stop watching because it made Mrs. Snooze so upset. That's of course because Mrs. S knows what's going to happen over the years and years that are covered by the programme. A lot of people still don't, so I hope the programme gives the affair the prominence that it always deserved and never got.

Toby Jones was as brilliant as he usually is. We stopped watching before Ian Hart came in, but he is a great actor too. But the compelling acting is part of the reason why it is such a tough watch.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

User avatar
Fishnut
After Pie
Posts: 2444
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Tue Jan 02, 2024 12:25 pm

There was a bit in it where someone visited Fujitsu and the tech guy was messing around with a live Horizon account, editing it in real time. Was that actually going on or was that made up for the show? It just seemed so incredibly dangerous I struggled to believe a company would allow that to happen.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

Blackcountryboy
Stargoon
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:44 pm
Location: Stourbridge

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Blackcountryboy » Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:07 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 12:25 pm
There was a bit in it where someone visited Fujitsu and the tech guy was messing around with a live Horizon account, editing it in real time. Was that actually going on or was that made up for the show? It just seemed so incredibly dangerous I struggled to believe a company would allow that to happen.
https://www.computerweekly.com/news/366 ... ch-systems

User avatar
Fishnut
After Pie
Posts: 2444
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:21 pm

Blackcountryboy wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:07 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 12:25 pm
There was a bit in it where someone visited Fujitsu and the tech guy was messing around with a live Horizon account, editing it in real time. Was that actually going on or was that made up for the show? It just seemed so incredibly dangerous I struggled to believe a company would allow that to happen.
https://www.computerweekly.com/news/366 ... ch-systems
Thank you

I suspected it was real because it seems so counter to the ethos of the series to make it up, but it's astonishing. The fact there was no audit trail for any of the changes and they just took it on trust that people wouldn't do anything wrong is astounding. How does a company the size f Fujitsu allow that to be standard practice?!
it's okay to say "I don't know"

User avatar
Tessa K
Light of Blast
Posts: 4681
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Tessa K » Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:38 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:21 pm
Blackcountryboy wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:07 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 12:25 pm
There was a bit in it where someone visited Fujitsu and the tech guy was messing around with a live Horizon account, editing it in real time. Was that actually going on or was that made up for the show? It just seemed so incredibly dangerous I struggled to believe a company would allow that to happen.
https://www.computerweekly.com/news/366 ... ch-systems
Thank you

I suspected it was real because it seems so counter to the ethos of the series to make it up, but it's astonishing. The fact there was no audit trail for any of the changes and they just took it on trust that people wouldn't do anything wrong is astounding. How does a company the size f Fujitsu allow that to be standard practice?!
I haven't finished it yet but there are so many unbelievable practices, lies, denials and cover ups that it didn't seem any less plausible than the rest.

User avatar
Sciolus
Dorkwood
Posts: 1308
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:42 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Sciolus » Tue Jan 02, 2024 8:00 pm

Blackcountryboy wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:07 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 12:25 pm
There was a bit in it where someone visited Fujitsu and the tech guy was messing around with a live Horizon account, editing it in real time. Was that actually going on or was that made up for the show? It just seemed so incredibly dangerous I struggled to believe a company would allow that to happen.
https://www.computerweekly.com/news/366 ... ch-systems
The timeline at the bottom of that article is pretty shocking. There have been serious suspicions about Horizon since at least 2009.

User avatar
Tessa K
Light of Blast
Posts: 4681
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Tessa K » Tue Jan 02, 2024 8:05 pm

I've finished it now. I hope a lot of people watch it.

The stats on screen at the end are truly awful.

Has anyone mentioned here yet that Alan Bates turned down an OBE?

User avatar
Fishnut
After Pie
Posts: 2444
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Fishnut » Tue Jan 02, 2024 8:37 pm

The documentary that's linked to the series is also worth a gander. It doesn't add a huge amount to the story but it's got interviews with the real people which are heartbreaking. I'm really hoping that it's going to raise the profile and get some real justice at long last. The post office has stolen hundreds of thousands of pounds from its employees and got to call it 'profit'.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

User avatar
jimbob
Light of Blast
Posts: 5242
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by jimbob » Tue Jan 02, 2024 9:17 pm

Why aren't all the convictions quashed?

It's not the first time that our justice system is bad at dealing with clear miscarriages of justice. Despite the original convictions clearly being unsafe, the victims seem to have to prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

User avatar
Stranger Mouse
After Pie
Posts: 2282
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:23 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Stranger Mouse » Tue Jan 02, 2024 9:25 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 8:00 pm
Blackcountryboy wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:07 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 12:25 pm
There was a bit in it -where someone visited Fujitsu and the tech guy was messing around with a live Horizon account, editing it in real time. Was that actually going on or was that made up for the show? It just seemed so incredibly dangerous I struggled to believe a company would allow that to happen.
https://www.computerweekly.com/news/366 ... ch-systems
The timeline at the bottom of that article is pretty shocking. There have been serious suspicions about Horizon since at least 2009.
I’ve just seen that bit in the second episode and it seemed pretty far fetched - especially the “auditor at the foot of the bed” but it seems it possibly did happen.
https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252 ... ay-victims
Former subpostmaster Michael Rudkin is certain he was singled out by the Post Office for asking difficult questions about Horizon. In August 2008, when he was chairman of the negotiating committee of the Federation of Subpostmasters, Rudkin visited a Fujitsu technology centre as part of a working group looking at how to improve bureau de change processes. During his visit, he was shown how Fujitsu staff could make changes to subpostmaster branch accounts remotely, without the subpostmasters knowing.

Vented his anger

Rudkin vented his anger over this while at the meeting, and the very next day an auditor turned up at his house and said there was a £44,000 shortfall at Rudkin’s branch in Ibstock, Leicestershire. He was suspended. Rudkin was reinstated three months later, but he said there were problems balancing the accounts and in 2009, after experiencing unexplained account shortfalls, his wife Susan, who worked at the branch, was prosecuted for theft.

She was convicted, received a 12-month suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and placed on an electronically monitored curfew for six months. She has since had this wrongful conviction overturned. The couple lost hundreds of thousands of pounds as a result of the Horizon errors and the Post Office’s actions.

“I am strongly of the opinion that I was targeted because I raised issues with Horizon,” said Rudkin. “Because of my negotiating skills, they took umbrage and needed a way of getting rid of me.
I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list if that’s still in the works

User avatar
Trinucleus
Catbabel
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:45 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Trinucleus » Tue Jan 02, 2024 10:04 pm

I've learned from episode 2 tonight that there's a federation of sub postmasters. Why weren't they spotting the issues early and co-ordinating evidence gathering to present to MPs?

Just got to clear up the feathers that Mrs T and I have been spitting for the last hour...

User avatar
JQH
After Pie
Posts: 2126
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:30 pm
Location: Sar Flandan

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by JQH » Wed Jan 03, 2024 2:52 pm

What I'd like to know is why senior post office managers, who knew about the problems but denied their existence are not being prosecuted for perjury, fraud, false accounting and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

Fintan O'Toole

Blackcountryboy
Stargoon
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:44 pm
Location: Stourbridge

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Blackcountryboy » Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:15 pm

https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/g ... s-of-hurt/
I have just read this on a podcast be a Nick Wallis a journalist.
It’s about one of the Post Office’s investigators, Gary Thomas. The investigators had very little training and had a bonus based on the number of successful prosecutions and cash recoveries they made.

noggins
Snowbonk
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:30 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by noggins » Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:17 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 9:17 pm
Why aren't all the convictions quashed?

It's not the first time that our justice system is bad at dealing with clear miscarriages of justice. Despite the original convictions clearly being unsafe, the victims seem to have to prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt.
I wondered - how can convictions be quashed en masse
An Act of Parliament?
(and if so whats the check on a government abusing it?)

IvanV
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2585
Joined: Mon May 17, 2021 11:12 am

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by IvanV » Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:42 pm

noggins wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:17 pm
jimbob wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2024 9:17 pm
Why aren't all the convictions quashed?

It's not the first time that our justice system is bad at dealing with clear miscarriages of justice. Despite the original convictions clearly being unsafe, the victims seem to have to prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt.
I wondered - how can convictions be quashed en masse
An Act of Parliament?
(and if so whats the check on a government abusing it?)
The trial that took place considered a selection of around about 60 of the much greater number of cases that started proceedings. Hence those convictions were vacated, en masse. I think part of the reason of considering a selection of cases was to make it a feasible trial, and that the conclusion of it would enable a process of restitution more widely. That restitution would lead to compensation and an acknowledgment of no fault.

But I think to actually vacate the convictions, they do at least have to brought to court and be vacated by a judge. That can happen en masse, as it did in the case that took place.

An administrative approach could be to offer pardons. Technically a pardon isn't exactly the same thing, but it can be understood that it is the reason for the pardon. Another administrative action is to remove the convictions from the criminal records register so that they don't have to be disclosed.

There may be little check on a government abusing its power to pardon people. Look at some of the extraordinary long list of people that got pardons from Donald Trump. There are probably a few cases there that are bona fide miscarriages of justice or appropriate use of a power of clemency, but not very many. There are discussions in the US on curbing the abuse of the presidential power of pardon, but it's the kind of thing that I guess is difficult to legislate in the US these days.

User avatar
bolo
Dorkwood
Posts: 1010
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:17 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by bolo » Wed Jan 03, 2024 5:20 pm

IvanV wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:42 pm
There are discussions in the US on curbing the abuse of the presidential power of pardon, but it's the kind of thing that I guess is difficult to legislate in the US these days.
The U.S. Constitution, in Article 2, Section 2, says:
The President ... shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
Past Supreme Court rulings have held that this cannot be constrained by regular legislation,* and yes, there is no prospect of passing a constitutional amendment any time soon, on any topic.

* See the section "Role of Congress in President’s Use of the Pardon Power" in this congressional report.

User avatar
Stranger Mouse
After Pie
Posts: 2282
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:23 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Stranger Mouse » Wed Jan 03, 2024 9:45 pm

Watching tonight’s broadcast episode. Very good performances apart from Nadhim Zahawi
I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list if that’s still in the works

User avatar
Brightonian
Dorkwood
Posts: 1421
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:16 pm
Location: Usually UK, often France and Ireland

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Brightonian » Thu Jan 04, 2024 1:28 pm

A video from a couple of years ago about the technical aspects of how shortfalls were happening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBJm9ZYqL10

A "tl;dr" might be "synchronisation failures". A bit like yesterday when I paid a pub bill with my phone and the phone indicated success, but then the barperson said it didn't go through, so we tried again, and then a third time, and then he got another card reader and it eventually worked.

User avatar
Trinucleus
Catbabel
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:45 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by Trinucleus » Thu Jan 04, 2024 3:13 pm

Brightonian wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 1:28 pm
A video from a couple of years ago about the technical aspects of how shortfalls were happening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBJm9ZYqL10

A "tl;dr" might be "synchronisation failures". A bit like yesterday when I paid a pub bill with my phone and the phone indicated success, but then the barperson said it didn't go through, so we tried again, and then a third time, and then he got another card reader and it eventually worked.
Can't help wondering if Fujistsu engineers found a way of siphoning money out

noggins
Snowbonk
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:30 pm

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by noggins » Thu Jan 04, 2024 3:16 pm

They arent that competent

User avatar
dyqik
Princess POW
Posts: 7410
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Location: Masshole
Contact:

Re: Post office Horizon scandal just got worse

Post by dyqik » Thu Jan 04, 2024 5:12 pm

noggins wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 3:16 pm
They arent that competent
But they might have watched Officespace or Superman 2.

Post Reply