Disgraced former Post Office boss lastly questioned as she emerges for first time | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Paula Vennells, the previous Post Office boss, declined to answer questions relating to the Horizon scandal throughout her first public look because the airing of the ITV drama that spotlighted the difficulty.

Ms Vennells, noticed biking on Sunday morning, was probed about whether or not she had knowingly misled MPs amid rising proof of a cover-up.

Leaked recordings point out she knew a couple of “covert operations team” able to remotely accessing the Horizon system utilized by sub-postmasters, which led to over 900 wrongful convictions.

Channel 4 News caught up with Ms Vennells leaving a church on Sunday morning and inquired if she had something to say, whether or not she had “lied to MPs”, and if there was “a cover-up”.

“There is a lot of evidence that there has been a cover-up – have you anything to say?” Alex Thomson, from Channel 4 News, requested as she rode away.

This marked her first public look because the ITV collection “Mr Bates vs The Post Office” aired earlier this 12 months.

Last month, the drama’s producer Patrick Spence prompt Ms Vennells was “in hiding” forward of her look on the official inquiry into the scandal. The inquiry is scheduled to restart subsequent week, with Ms Vennells anticipated to testify.

The concern of distant entry to sub-postmasters’ accounts by the Fujitsu Horizon system has been key to the scandal inquiry and accusations of a cover-up.

In 2015, the previous Post Office CEO denied in correspondence to Parliament that distant entry was attainable.

In written proof to the enterprise, innovation, and expertise committee inquiry, the Post Office said: “There is no functionality in Horizon for either a branch, Post Office, or Fujitsu to edit, manipulate or remove transaction data once it has been recorded in a branch’s accounts.”

MPs raised doubts concerning the reliability of the £1 billion system, but underneath Vennells’ management, the Post Office persevered in prosecuting sub-postmasters regardless of proof of faults with the system. An investigation agency was employed by the Post Office, solely to be dismissed earlier than ending its work.

In 2015, Ms. Vennells knowledgeable the Commons enterprise choose committee that “we have no evidence” of miscarriages of justice. However, by the point she left the Post Office in 2019, having earned virtually £5million, it was on the verge of dropping a High Court battle.

On Friday, Nadhim Zahawi advised ITV News he believed Ms Vennells had been misled parliament, together with himself, in 2015.

The former Chancellor urged an investigation into company manslaughter by the Post Office following the suicides of Horizon victims. At least 4 sub-postmasters are identified to have dedicated suicide.

This follows Channel 4 News acquiring a recording from 2013 wherein Susan Crichton, the Post Office’s chief lawyer, twice confirmed that Ms Vennells had been knowledgeable a couple of “covert operations team” able to remotely accessing the Horizon system and adjusting branches’ accounts.