Horizon skilled ‘pressurised’ by Post Office over Misra proof | EUROtoday

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A Fujitsu software program skilled who helped construct the Horizon system has mentioned he felt pressurised by the Post Office over proof he gave within the 2010 prosecution of sub-postmistress Seema Misra.

Gareth Jenkins mentioned the Post Office “clearly” wished him to say that “everything was perfect, and I don’t think I actually said that”.

However, in an e mail discussing the case on the time, he mentioned Mrs Misra had “jumped on the bandwagon” in blaming Horizon for shortfalls in accounts.

Mrs Misra instructed the BBC that this was an instance of a tradition that went “right through the Post Office… [that] Horizon is perfect”.

Mrs Misra was certainly one of tons of of sub-postmasters and postmistresses prosecuted by the Post Office between 1999 and 2015 on the power of defective knowledge from the Horizon accounting system.

The expertise made it look as if cash was lacking from Post Office department accounts when it wasn’t.

At Mrs Misra’s trial in 2010 she was accused of theft and false accounting.

The sub-postmistress from West Byfleet, Surrey, was discovered responsible and despatched to jail when she was eight weeks pregnant.

Her conviction was quashed in 2021.

Mr Jenkins mentioned he felt, previous to the prosecution, that he was being pressurised by the Post Office to make out that Horizon was “perfect” in commenting on a report written by an skilled witness for the defence.

He added that the administration of Mrs Misra’s case was “fairly chaotic”, and that requests from the Post Office authorized division had been unclear.

Nevertheless, in an e mail discussing Mrs Misra’s case in 2010, he wrote that Mrs Misra “saw an article in [tech publication] Computer Weekly indicating that Horizon was unreliable and decided to jump on the bandwagon”.

Mr Jenkins mentioned this was “totally inappropriate wording” and apologised.

Lead counsel for the inquiry Jason Beer requested Mr Jenkins whether or not he had been in a position to give proof dispassionately, or had he been “afflicted” with the assumption that sub-postmasters had been leaping on the bandwagon in blaming Horizon for shortfalls.

Mr Jenkins mentioned that he did not assume Horizon was the issue, and that there have been “other reasons” for shortfalls.

Responding to Mr Jenkins’ proof, Mrs Misra mentioned she felt that the previous Fujitsu engineer’s feedback confirmed the tradition within the Post Office on the time, which was that sub-postmasters had been in charge for shortfalls, slightly than Horizon being at fault.

Mr Jenkins is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police for suspected perjury – mendacity to courtroom.