Horizon Judicial Inquiry Hearings to commence ‘early 2022’Postal, Post Office (PO) June 11 2021
Sir Wyn Williams expands legal team and prepares for full legal investigation, following Government’s statutory instruction…
Legal proceedings in the Horizon scandal kicked up a gear this week, with the Government’s official publication of the Statement of Approach, that sets out formal Terms of Reference and a Judicial Timetable under Section 15 of the Inquiries Act 2005.
“This is more positive news that takes us a step nearer to justice,” says CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey, adding: “Sir Wyn has now appointed a QC (Jason Beer), a Counsel to the Inquiry (Julian Blake) and an Inquiry Solicitor (Segan Jide), as well as increasing his team of staff.
“We, the CWU, now have clear guidance on the timetable for any further submissions, as well as valuable information as to our status – or potential status – as a Core Participant.”
The new appointments are set to begin their work immediately, while the Inquiry is also in the process of setting up its own dedicated and independent website and is selecting an appropriate venue for the Judicial Hearings – which are, according to the Statement of Approach, timetabled to commence ‘in either February or March 2022’.
And, according to the same source, ‘the Inquiry will aim to submit its findings to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in Autumn 2022’.
“After such a long and hard-fought campaign, it’s great to hear that concrete, practical steps are now being put into place to ensure those responsible for this scandal are, finally, brought to justice,” Andy told CWU News.
As well as a further submission that will be entered by the CWU and its application for Core Participant status, the union is also encouraging individual postmasters affected by the scandal to make their views known to Sir Wyn and his team.
Mark Baker, secretary of the CWU Postmaster Branch, says: “It’s vital that people with their own stories to tell, get in touch with the Inquiry and give their testimony.
“And even if these individuals don’t want to be part of the formal proceedings, there is a parallel Telling Your Story project being run by Sir Wyn, which will provide the platform for their experiences to be shared.”
Andy concludes: “This is good news. Let’s make sure we win real justice for all, accountability for the guilty, and appropriate governance reform going forward which ideally will include independent trade union representation for postmasters through the CWU as it is evident that postmasters collectively need a strong voice.”