A post office attorney has been charged with “big fat lying”

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By Creative Media News

  • Singh denies knowledge of Horizon system vulnerabilities
  • Beer accuses Singh of lying about email knowledge
  • Misra’s trial impacted by undisclosed email

Former senior Post Office attorney Jarnail Singh has denied knowledge of vulnerabilities in the Horizon system during the three-year prosecution of sub-postmasters.

Jason Beer, the Horizon inquiry’s chief counsel, condemned Mr. Singh as having “blown a colossal lie.”

On the eve of the 2010 trial of Seema Misra, a sub-postmistress who was incarcerated during her pregnancy, an email was transmitted to Mr. Singh.

It detected vulnerabilities in the Horizon system that ought to have been revealed during the trial of Mrs. Misra.

Mister Singh refuted any knowledge of perusing the email, notwithstanding the evidence that he had printed and saved a copy to his hard drive.

At the time, Rob Wilson, head of the Post Office’s criminal law division, dispatched the email on October 8, 2010. He notified the Post Office regarding a sequence of occurrences in which Horizon funds “disappeared at the branch level” and erroneous balances were displayed.

When queried by Mr. Beer about whether this email “should have raised concerns,” Mr. Singh replied affirmatively.

The case involving Mrs. Misra commenced the subsequent week. She was ultimately convicted of theft and fraudulent accounting, received a ten-month prison sentence, and was incarcerated on the tenth birthday of her son while pregnant.

In her trial, the email was not disclosed.

In criminal proceedings, prosecution attorneys are obligated to disclose any documents that may potentially weaken their case.

“Ignorant denial”

Mr. Beer presented evidence that Mr. Singh had downloaded and printed an attachment concerning Horizon discrepancies on October 8, 2010.

Mr. Singh stated, “I do not recall seeing it, nor do I recall printing it.”

Mr. Singh responded as follows when asked if the file was stored on the hard drive of his computer: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.

I have no idea how these devices functioned.

Do you have no idea how to conserve a document? Mr. Beer inquired.

Mr. Singh responded, “I had no idea how to do it,” adding that he lacked the requisite technical expertise to accomplish the task or comprehend the document in question.

I completely cannot recall this document or the email to which he attached it.

Mr. Beer stated that Mr. Singh was “blindly denying his guilt” because “this is evidence of your guilt.”

Mr. Singh responded, “That is not the case, and I do not feel culpable for that; I have not yet obtained it, and had I, I would have addressed it immediately.”

That which I do not acknowledge receiving, perusing, or printing constitutes my proof under oath.

Mr. Beer had previously presented emails from 2013 and 2015 in which it was stated that Mr. Singh had not become cognizant of the vulnerabilities in Horizon until a report was released in July 2013 by the forensic accountants Second Sight.

Mr. Beer, on the other hand, leveled allegations against Mr. Singh of a “cover-up,” an allegation that Singh refuted.

He stated that no cover-up has ever been or will ever be conducted on his part.

Subsequently, in response to additional denials from Mr. Singh, Mr. Beer stated: “The entire ‘If I received it, if I read it’ scenario is a colossal fabrication, is it not? Furthermore, you are aware of this, Mr. Singh.”

Mr. Singh replied, “Sir, I have reached an age where I can contribute to the inquiry rather than deceive. “That is all.”

During the lunch break, Mrs. Misra, who was in attendance at the session, was queried regarding her level of belief in Mr. Singh. “No,” she responded.

She stated that she had been engaged in a dispute with the Post Office since 2005, but added that “we are now making progress in the right direction” about the investigation’s findings.

Mr. Singh then responded to queries regarding document shredding with his hands covered while he “umm” -ing and “err” -ing through a multitude of responses for several minutes.

An email authored by Mr. Singh in May 2014, which referred to Jo Hamilton, a former sub-postmistress who was prominent in the ITV drama Mr Bates vs. the Post Office, was subsequently presented to the inquiry.

According to the email from Mr. Singh, an investigations officer who was involved in the case of Ms. Hamilton had advised against prosecuting her.

“Upon examining the Horizon printout and accounting records, I was unable to identify any indications of theft or the inflation of cash in hand figures,” the investigating officer had written.

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In the email, Mr. Singh expressed his “complete confidence” in the correctness of the decision not to disclose this information, stating that doing so would afford forensic investigators Second Sight and Ms. Hamilton “every opportunity” to inquire as to why Hamilton was prosecuted.

Mr. Beer reiterated that this demonstrated a “cover-up” at the Post Office, a claim that Mr. Singh once more refuted.

A bewildered Ms. Hamilton observed the proceedings in passivity. In 2021, her conviction for fraudulent accounting was ultimately overturned.

Because sub-postmasters have “fought for so many years,” Ms. Hamilton exclaimed, “I was truly ecstatic to be here.”

“There is no hiding place now,” she stated of the individuals being cross-examined in the investigation.

She stated, “It just makes you feel extremely satisfied.” “The worm has turned.”

Regarding Mr. Singh’s testimony, she further stated, “I cannot believe a word he says.”

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