The Scottish authorities has introduced plans for brand spanking new laws that can exonerate sub-postmasters wrongly convicted because of the defective Horizon IT system.

Those that have their convictions quashed beneath the proposed Put up Workplace (Horizon System) Offences (Scotland) Invoice will then have the ability to entry the UK authorities’s monetary redress scheme.

The invoice will likely be launched to the Scottish parliament on Tuesday and will likely be expedited to permit justice and redress to be delivered to victims as “swiftly as doable” in keeping with the UK invoice.

It comes after Westminster’s laws was not prolonged to cowl sub-postmasters in Scotland.

Round 100 sub-postmasters in Scotland had been amongst these convicted after being wrongly accused of embezzling cash.

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Ex-post workplace lawyer denies cover-up

Prosecutions had been dealt with by the Crown Workplace in Scotland, not the Put up Workplace.

Justice secretary Angela Constance mentioned: “Harmless sub-postmasters had their lives ruined by being wrongly convicted of offences of dishonesty on the proof of the defective Put up Workplace Horizon system.

“The quickest, best path to overturn these miscarriages of justice would have been for the UK authorities to increase their Put up Workplace (Horizon System) Offences Invoice to cowl sub-postmasters in Scotland.

“Nevertheless, our repeated requests for this had been refused. Our invoice, subsequently, mirrors that of UK laws to make sure parity for affected sub-postmasters in Scotland with these elsewhere within the UK and to make sure entry to the UK authorities’s compensation scheme.

“The size of the scandal and the size of time that the victims have waited for justice means we’re taking an unprecedented step of introducing laws to proper this horrible flawed and asking parliament for it to be processed as an emergency invoice.”

Learn extra on the Put up Workplace scandal:
Put up Workplace lawyer accused of telling ‘huge fats lie’ to Horizon inquiry
Greater than £1m claimed as ‘revenue’ might have come from victims

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As soon as the invoice is lodged, the stage one debate and vote on the overall ideas is predicted to happen at Holyrood on 21 Might. The stage two amendments will then be thought-about on 22 Might.

Ms Constance added: “The Scottish authorities won’t do something to jeopardise equality and parity for victims, so the ultimate stage of the invoice can’t be thought-about within the Scottish parliament till after the UK laws has been handed.

“It will be certain that MSPs can take account of any amendments made to the UK invoice.”

The laws will exonerate convicted sub-postmasters the place the next standards are met:

• The conviction was for embezzlement, fraud, theft, uttering or an ancillary offence dedicated between 23 September 1996 and 31 December 2018
• The individual was carrying on a Put up Workplace enterprise, or working in a Put up Workplace for the aim of a Put up Workplace enterprise
• The conviction was in reference to carrying on, or working for the aim of the Put up Workplace enterprise
• The Horizon system was getting used for the needs of the Put up Workplace enterprise within the related Put up Workplace
• The conviction has not been thought-about by the Excessive Court docket in reference to an enchantment


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