Horizon: Post Office policies did not ensure compliance with investigation and prosecution laws
Post Office investigation and prosecution policy documents were not sufficient to ensure compliance with key legislation, a criminal prosecutions expert has told the Horizon inquiry.
The first part of an expert report by Duncan Atkinson KC, who was instructed by Sir Wyn Williams to independent analyse evidence relating to criminal prosecutions brought by the Post Office, has been published on the inquiry website.
The report points out that the Post Office as an investigator and prosecutor was and is subject to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA) and the Codes issued under each Act.
However, Mr Atkinson found that the “policy landscape for a significant period was not sufficient to ensure consistent and comprehensive compliance with a number of important aspects of the PACE and CPIA regimes, and in particular in relation to independent decisions as to charge, disclosure of material that might undermine the reliability of data systems and third party disclosure”.
Mr Atkinson is giving oral evidence before Sir Wyn Williams today and tomorrow.