Horizon Scandal – Inquiry Judge orders full disclosure

Postal, Post Office (PO)

Sir Wyn Williams

Sir Wyn Williams seeks formal Waiver Of Privilege to remove ‘legal hiding place’ from corporate witnesses…

Assistant secretary Andy Furey told CWU News today that a legal process launched by the judge at the head of the Horizon Scandal Inquiry represents “a very positive step towards full accountability and transparency.”

Making the announcement on Monday, at the end of the first open day of the hearing, Sir Wyn said:

‘I am today seeking a waiver of privilege in respect legally privileged material relevant to the Terms of Reference, as carried into effect by the Provisional List of Issues (and as supplemented by the four themes heard at today’s hearing – which everyone should understand will be investigated by the Inquiry) dated from the date of the first pilot of the Horizon IT System to the Prime Minister’s announcement to hold an inquiry on 26 February 2020.’

And the judge made it clear, in no uncertain terms, exactly to whom he was referring with his statement, when he specifically cited those from whom a formal response was expected:

‘Please can Post Office Limited, Fujitsu, BEIS and UKGI provide their responses to the Inquiry not later than 4pm on 15 November 2021.’

Reacting to the news, Andy Furey told us that “this is a hugely significant development, and it goes some considerable way to addressing the concerns that have been voiced as to the effectiveness of Sir Wyn’s investigation.

“There had been worries, with the Inquiry initially lacking the power to subpoena, that the corporate parties might have chosen to hide behind commercial confidentiality or privilege when giving their evidence – in short, there were fears that they might ‘plead the fifth’ as it were – either of their own individual volition or under duress.

“But Sir Wyn’s robustness has taken away that ‘legal hiding place’ at a stroke – it’s wonderful news and justifies the faith we have always had in this judge.

“Now the Post Office, Fujitsu, and the others responsible for this scandal will be forced to tell the whole truth – and this is an important step forward in the fight for justice for postmasters.”