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Ministers move to quash Scottish Post Office scandal victim convictions

By David Porter

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First Minister Humza Yousaf has today (Wednesday) written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling on joint working to ensure a UK-wide approach is taken to exonerate those wrongly convicted of criminal offences as a result of the Post Office Horizon IT system.

In the letter he wrote:

"Dear Rishi

"I am writing to you regarding the Post Office Minister, Kevin Hollinrake MP’s announcement in Parliament today that the UK Government intends to legislate to reverse the convictions of sub-postmasters convicted of criminal offences as a result of the Post Office Horizon IT system.

"I welcome this announcement. The Post Office Horizon scandal requires urgent action to ensure those affected by unjust convictions can finally receive justice.

"In the course of his statement, the Minister noted that the power to legislate to reverse convictions imposed by the Scottish courts is devolved to the Scottish Parliament but that he is keen to work with the devolved Governments to ensure that sub-postmasters in Scotland and Northern Ireland are not disadvantaged.

"Scottish Ministers are keen to work with the UK Government to deal with the impact on sub-postmasters convicted in Scotland, ensuring that a UK-wide approach is taken to exonerate those wrongfully convicted in Scottish courts.

"Given the unique circumstances arising from the Post Office Horizon scandal, it is right that normal processes for appeals are set aside to ensure that justice can now be delivered for those whose lives were greatly impacted by their wrongful conviction.

"The Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs, Angela Constance MSP, will contact her counterpart, the Secretary of State for Justice, to discuss how best to progress work in this area, whether this is by ensuring that the UK legislation will either apply directly in Scotland or by developing separate Scottish legislation to deliver the same effect for Scotland.

"I trust that we can work together to ensure that those affected are now able to have their convictions overturned and obtain compensation.

Humza Yousaf."

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