Wednesday, 19 June 2024
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EuropePolitics

A Post Office lawyer issues an apology for the document disclosures

  • Talks concerning the Post Office’s email systems have dominated the hearing.
  • The purpose of the investigation is to get more information regarding the steps the Post Office is taking to prevent these late disclosures.
  • A search has been conducted, according to Jackson, to determine what was held where and how to access it.

Talks concerning the Post Office’s email systems have dominated the hearing; the inquiry was not informed of over 363,000 emails located on an outdated mail system, forcing the postponement of evidence from important witnesses.

Because the emails span a time when the Post Office was responding to the developing scandal—which some have called a “cover-up”—the inquiry lawyers think that these communications could be extremely important. The purpose of the investigation is to get more information regarding the steps the Post Office is taking to prevent these late disclosures.

Document disclosures

Jason Beer KC, an inquiry lawyer, questions the accuracy of Chris Jackson‘s initial witness statement and if it is appropriate to claim that a disclosure questionnaire contained “inaccurate and misleading” information. Email transfers and email archive data were the subjects of the information. According to Jackson, falsehoods were repeated.

Beer is asking Chris Jackson, the lawyer working for the Post Office, about a document that came to light after a Freedom of Information request submitted in May 2023. He referred to it as a “chance discovery” that raised concerns about the possibility of another store for emails that aren’t on Mimecast.

Previous investigation findings showed that the Post Office had located over 300,000 previously overlooked emails from after 2012. The problem of Post Office emails – what different systems were used and when – and the knock-on effect this has had in trying to extract information relevant and of use to the inquiry.

Beer asks Jackson if he agrees that determining which email clients, servers, and gateway platforms were in use at any given moment and how information would be gleaned from them would be necessary when investigating the problem. A search has been conducted, according to Jackson, to determine what was held where and how to access it.

Beer contends that data collecting ought to have begun earlier in the investigation and that the law firm even noted in its procurement process how important it was to pursue this.

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