UK’s Sunak: Government is looking at legal ways to help Post Office victims

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Sunday his government was considering a move to exonerate hundreds of employees of the state-owned Post Office who were wrongfully convicted of false accounting, theft and fraud because of faulty software.

Sunak’s government is braced for criticism after parliament resumes work this week after a television drama of the scandal, which saw hundreds of Post Office branch managers prosecuted between 1999 and 2015, was aired by ITV.

Many have yet to have their convictions quashed and hundreds are waiting for compensation following their wrongful prosecutions in what has become known as the Post Office scandal.

Asked whether justice minister Alex Chalk was exploring moves to exonerate them or remove the Post Office’s ability to investigate and prosecute, Sunak called it “an appalling miscarriage of justice”.

“The Justice Secretary is looking at the things that you described,” he told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme.

“It’s right that we find every which way we can do to try and make this right for the people who were so wrongfully treated at the time,” Sunak said, adding there was some “legal complexity in all of those things”.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Susan Fenton)