Victory for postmasters as miscarriage of justice inquiry is escalated – The Yorkshire Post says

THERE are three clear reasons why the Post Office fraud scandal being presided over by Sir Wyn Williams, the retired judge, will now become a fully fledged public inquiry.

Both he, and now Ministers, have listened to those postmasters who were wrongly prosecuted and jailed; the inquiry remit was insufficient and key witnesses do, in fact, need to be compelled – by law – to give evidence under oath.

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But the more likely answer is that Sir Wyn, himself, had already concluded, from decades of experience in the judiciary, that one of Britain’s worst ever miscarriages of justice demanded a far more robust response than envisaged.

Hull's Janet Skinner, who went to jail in the Post Office IT scandal, is among those to have had their criminal convictions quashed.

The Yorkshire Post fully supports this move and has, indeed, been pushing for a statutory inquiry in the wake of dozens of postmasters having their criminal convictions quashed. It is only thanks to their persistence, and willingness to recount how they were criminalised by a flawed IT accounting system, that this injustice’s wider ramifications have started to emerge belatedly.

Given this, Sir Wyn’s expanded inquiry must focus on three areas – why the Post Office continued to persecute hundreds of postmasters whose reputations had previously been beyond reproach; why a succession of Ministers, including Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey, did not intervene sooner and, most seriously of all, why the legal system appeared powerless and did not demand a greater burden of proof from Post Office lawyers.

Janet Skinner after her criminal concition was quashed by the Royal Courts of Justice.

Together, these tenets now explain the scale, urgency and importance of Sir Wyn’s task as he seeks to establish the truth – and where culpability ultimately rests for a scandal that saw the political and legal establishments collude, unwittingly or otherwise, against postmasters; proud people regarded as pillars of communities before their lives were ruined by those officials who clearly thought that they were above the law.

They’re not now.

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