Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Day 2 transcript: Court of Appeal hearing - 42 Subpostmaster appellants

 This is the unperfected transcript from Court 4:




           1                                         Tuesday, 23 March 2021


           2   (10.30 am)


           3                           Housekeeping


           4   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Mr Altman, just before you start, as


           5       everyone will be aware, there is to be a minute's


           6       silence at noon to provide an opportunity for people to


           7       remember those who have died over the last year of the


           8       pandemic.  To enable everyone to mark that occasion as


           9       they wish, we will rise between 11.55 and 12.05.  It is


          10       likely to be you on your feet at that time, Mr Altman,


          11       so perhaps you can time your submissions accordingly.


          12           Just to remind everyone, those in this courtroom and


          13       in the overflow courtroom, that if they choose to leave


          14       the courtroom during that 10-minute period, they must of


          15       course continue to observe social distancing and all the


          16       usual precautions.


          17           Thank you.


          18               Submissions by MR ALTMAN (continued)


          19   MR ALTMAN:  My Lord, thank you.  Continuing then from where


          20       I left off last evening, can I come on to some general


          21       observations on limb 2, before turning to the CCRC's


          22       reasons, then the appellant's grounds.


          23           Our submission is that no two cases are ever alike.


          24       Whilst one might result in an adverse finding on limb 2


          25       abuse of process in one of these cases, it will not


                                             1





           1       inevitably do so in another, given the need to weigh in


           2       the balance relevant factors in each case.


           3           My Lord, can I pause there.  In the (Inaudible) as


           4       have been exhibited by two of my friends, we feel it


           5       would help the court if the court was to get a copy of


           6       my speaking note.  I am happy -- I have not been able to


           7       do it before now, but if I can say by the end of the


           8       day, or some time tomorrow, once I have tidied it up,


           9       would that be a help?


          10   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes, tidied or untidied, it would be


          11       a very helpful document, Mr Altman.


          12           Perhaps I could just mention, we have also received


          13       a copy of a speaking note from Mr Saxby, who has yet to


          14       address the court.  I don't know whether that has


          15       reached you or not, but that, too, is a helpful


          16       document, and we are very grateful to everyone for


          17       providing these.


          18   MR ALTMAN:  I wonder if Mr Saxby, wherever he is, could find


          19       a way to getting a copy to us?


          20   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I think he is attending by CVP, but


          21       no doubt he can hear what is being said.


          22   MR ALTMAN:  Thank you.


          23           I am told they are absent this morning.


          24   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  You are quite right, they are absent


          25       until this afternoon.


                                             2





           1           Yes.


           2   MR ALTMAN:  A number of cases have been referred by the


           3       commission to this court with the same basic reasons.


           4       They were prosecuted by the same prosecutor, albeit


           5       under different company names, either side


           6       of April 2012, after the separation of Royal Mail and


           7       Post Office Limited.  They come before the court at the


           8       same time for good reason.


           9           We submit that does not mean that the outcome in the


          10       other cases might all be the same.


          11           The time factor is of significance here.  What might


          12       be argued could result in an adverse finding, say in


          13       2010, given the increasing awareness about Horizon


          14       issues, will not necessarily be true of a case that was


          15       prosecuted, say, in 2001.  Time specificity must not


          16       only have regard to when a problem is raised, but also


          17       to the full history and chronology of the issues so as


          18       to see whether, at the relevant time, the Post Office


          19       might have had reason to suspect there was any active


          20       risk.


          21           Again, it is only by detailed and fact specific


          22       analysis that one can see whether, in any given case,


          23       there was any knowledge of Horizon issues in the mind of


          24       the prosecutor that would render their decision to


          25       prosecute offensive to justice.  Thus it is our


                                             3





           1       principal submission that, as regards limb 2, the court


           2       should, we say with respect, resist adopting, as it


           3       were, a one size fits all approach to cases with


           4       different facts, separated in some cases by 13 years.


           5           This is not to say -- and we have made this clear


           6       before and I repeat -- that the respondent is seeking to


           7       argue for a case specific analysis for every one of


           8       these cases now.  He may claim not only does he


           9       recognise, but also support the desire for there to be


          10       finality to these appeals, but not a globalised route to


          11       limiting findings across the board.


          12           Our submission is that poor investigation and


          13       non-disclosure alone do not go beyond limb 1 abuse, such


          14       that it may inexorably lead, or leads, to the same


          15       outcome in every case, so far as limb 2 goes.


          16           However, where limb 2 is concerned, we submit there


          17       has to be something that goes beyond the unfairness in


          18       the trial process, reflected by limb 1, allowing the


          19       court to say that there was prosecutorial misconduct in


          20       the prosecution and conviction of each of these


          21       appellants on the facts of their cases of a kind that


          22       amounted to an affront to the public conscience.


          23           We say that the broadbrush globalised approach,


          24       however attractive, which is the approach the court is


          25       being invited to take, can't achieve a just outcome.


                                             4





           1           So, with those thoughts in mind, may I turn to the


           2       CCRC's reasons?


           3           The first point we make about the CCRC reasons on


           4       limb 2, we have to bear in mind, is the commission's


           5       statement of reasons that bring all these cases before


           6       this court on which the appellants have founded their


           7       grounds and their arguments.


           8           With no disrespect to the CCRC intended, the


           9       statements of reasons do not contain any careful


          10       analysis of the facts of the individual referred cases.


          11       The court will be familiar with the statements of


          12       reasons and their design.  The CCRC grouped the cases


          13       together under different heads.  The court will


          14       remember -- and I can give the references, you don't


          15       need to look at them, but, in bundle A, tab 1, page 54,


          16       applicants who were convicted after a trial on a not


          17       guilty plea.


          18           Bundle A, tab 1, page 60, applicants who pleaded


          19       guilty to false accounting.  In fact, it also included


          20       some allegations of fraud.


          21           Bundle A, tab 1, page 74, applicants who pleaded


          22       guilty to theft.


          23           Three groups of the applicants who originally came


          24       within the purview of the first statement of reasons, in


          25       arriving at the CCRC's decision, there was a real


                                             5





           1       possibility the convictions would be overturned by this


           2       court if referred.


           3           Its conclusion, the CCRC's conclusion at


           4       paragraph 124 of its reasons, bundle A, tab 1, page 51,


           5       which falls under their heading of limb 2, is that --


           6       and if the court want me to take it to these passages


           7       I will, but your Lordship made clear yesterday you were


           8       familiar with the statements of reasons:


           9           "It was an affront to the public conscience that to


          10       bring proceedings in any case where the reliability of


          11       Horizon data was essential to the prosecution case when


          12       viewed in the eventual context against the Post Office


          13       applicant in question."


          14           It took, itself, a global approach to the balancing


          15       exercise, as is clear from what it says at


          16       paragraph 130, at page 52, tab 1, bundle A:


          17           "The CCRC remains of the view that the High Court's


          18       findings give rise to a cogent argument ..."


          19           I will pause there, if your Lordship wishes to --


          20   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.


          21   MR ALTMAN:  Bundle A, tab 1, page 52.


          22   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you very much.


          23   MR ALTMAN:  Paragraph 130, and it is the last five lines of


          24       that paragraph:


          25           "The CCRC remains of the view that the High Court's


                                             6





           1       findings give rise to a cogent argument that individual


           2       Post Office prosecutions in which the reliability of


           3       Horizon data was essential to the prosecution case when


           4       viewed in the evidential context were an affront to the


           5       public conscience and should not have been brought."


           6           Further up that paragraph is a balancing exercise in


           7       which the CCRC said they didn't consider:


           8           "The offence types in these cases false accounting,


           9       fraud, or theft, often involving substantial sums of


          10       money, were so serious that this court would necessarily


          11       conclude that they outweigh any arguable setting out as


          12       to abuse of process."


          13           Now, the CCRC doesn't say what "when viewed in the


          14       evidential context" means in each case, given there was


          15       no close case specific analysis of the facts in the


          16       statements of reasons.  It is a generalisation, and we


          17       have taken it to mean no more than what is said by the


          18       CCRC, at paragraph 124.  So, the court has it open --


          19       turn back to page 51:


          20           "When those findings are considered in the round.


          21       The CCRC considers that there is a cogent argument that


          22       was (Inaudible).  It was an affront to the public


          23       conscience for the Post Office to bring criminal


          24       proceedings in any case where the reliability of the


          25       Horizon data was essential to the prosecution case, or


                                             7





           1       when viewed in the evidential context against the


           2       Post Office applicant in question."


           3           There are, we submit, clear dangers in taking such


           4       an approach to different cases over the period of time


           5       that this court is dealing with.  The dangers of it are


           6       demonstrated in the CCRC's own reasons, at


           7       paragraphs 127 and 128.  All of this under the heading


           8       which is found at page 50 in effect (Inaudible).


           9           There the CCRC combined what it characterised as


          10       concerns, that it noted with concern, paragraph 127,


          11       four lines down:


          12            "... concerns it had in relation to alleged


          13       deliberate non-disclosure and the allegation in the


          14       contract was routinely and comprehensively overstated to


          15       reason that where the Post Office [the respondent] was


          16       victim, investigator, and prosecutor in those cases it


          17       'Consciously deprived' the defendants and the courts of


          18       a full and accurate understanding of reliability of


          19       Horizon and that it behaved oppressively to postmasters


          20       by overstating their contractual obligations."


          21           We have made these points before in the respondent's


          22       notices, but can I be forgiven for just taking the court


          23       through them now?  Because they are important.


          24           The first concerns 1271, the Post Office


          25       deliberately chose not to disclose full details of


                                             8





           1       defects in Horizon because they might have an impact on


           2       ongoing legal cases.  There is a reference there to


           3       paragraph 457 of the Horizon issues judgment.


           4           The background, the factual background to that


           5       reasoning is to be found in section 1(c) of the


           6       statement of reasons.  I am not going to invite the


           7       court to go to it, but you will find that at pages 24


           8       and 25 of the statement of reasons, paragraph 60 and


           9       onwards.


          10           I am going to summarise it for the court, just to


          11       save time.  Where at paragraph 60, subparagraphs (1),


          12       (2) and (3), the CCRC talks about the receipt and


          13       payments mismatch bug.


          14           Paragraph 4, they talk about Fujitsu being less than


          15       forthcoming.


          16           Paragraph 5, its concerns about the veracity of


          17       Fujitsu employees.


          18           6, the peak in 2007, where the branch was not told


          19       about that particular problem.


          20           Paragraph 7, on page 26, or subparagraph 7, calendar


          21       square, Fujitsu knew since 2006, and we can take


          22       calendar square of an example of this bug, existed in


          23       Horizon.


          24           8, Fujitsu (Inaudible) personnel routinely referring


          25       documents to the known existence of bugs without being


                                             9





           1       communicated to the sub-postmaster.


           2           9 and 10, a theme contained within some of the


           3       internal documents, extreme sensitivity seeming to verge


           4       on cogency(?) of institutional paranoia concerning any


           5       information that may throw doubts on the reputation of


           6       Horizon or expose it to further scrutiny.


           7           The reference there is to paragraph 946 of the


           8       Horizon issues judgment.


           9           So, it is on that basis, and against much of that


          10       background, that if one goes back to paragraph 127,


          11       tab 1, on page 52, it appears that the CCRC concluded


          12       that the Post Office deliberately chose not to disclose


          13       full details of defects, but these are the important


          14       words:


          15           "Because they might have an impact on ongoing legal


          16       cases."


          17           If the court wishes, as it were, to have a side


          18       note, paragraph 457 is to be found -- it is the Horizon


          19       issues judgment at tab B, tab 1B of bundle A, and


          20       page 544.  Here you find (Inaudible) which your Lordship


          21       and my Lady will be aware of from everything you have


          22       heard read, but the source of that was the receipts and


          23       payments mismatch issue loans, which you can see at 457,


          24       Mr Justice Fraser's judgment in the Horizon issue trial.


          25           To see, he says three lines down, at the end of the


                                            10





           1       line:


           2           "To see a concern expressed, if the software bug in


           3       Horizon were to become widely known, it might have


           4       a potential impact upon ongoing legal cases where the


           5       integrity of Horizon data was essential ..."


           6           It is a very concerning passage to read in


           7       a contemporaneous document:


           8           "Whether these were cases concerning the civil


           9       claims or criminal cases, there are obligations on


          10       parties in terms of disclosure.  As far as criminal


          11       cases are concerned, these concern the liberty of


          12       a person and disclosure ...(Reading to the words)... in


          13       these documents hidden from view.  Regardless of the


          14       motivation, doing so was wholly wrong."


          15           So, that is the source of the CCRC's reasoning or


          16       the fundamental source of what they have to say at 1271,


          17       page 52, tab 1, bundle A.


          18           However, what the CCRC didn't go on to do was to


          19       explain how what happened in September


          20       and October 2010 -- in other words the issue notes,


          21       which I will refer to by the wording which I have


          22       invited the court to consider -- is how they comply or


          23       any analysis of the issue, of documents raised in all of


          24       these individual cases.  The receipts and payments


          25       mismatch bug was referred to in Mr Justice Fraser's


                                            11





           1       technical accounts, and we can find it in my second


           2       bundle, the A bundle, behind tab 1C, at page 720.


           3           One needs to go to page 753 in the technical


           4       appendix to find reference to the receipts and payments


           5       mismatch bug.  This is Mr Justice Fraser's first of 29


           6       or 30, depending on which way you look at the numbering,


           7       to be found in the Horizon issues judgment.


           8           Paragraph 128, the bug occurred in 2010, and it is


           9       a bug which appeared in Horizon online.  So, what that


          10       means is it had no direct impact on Legacy Horizon


          11       cases, in other words the Horizon system before


          12       2009/2010.


          13           In paragraph 129 of the second limb appendix,


          14       Mr Justice Fraser tells us the effect of this bug issue


          15       was identified on the accounts of approximately 60


          16       branches.  The court will remember me saying yesterday


          17       in relation to (Inaudible) that it was Gareth Jenkins


          18       who had been told Second Sight for the purposes of the


          19       interim report of late July 2013, about receipts and


          20       payments mismatch (Inaudible) which affected about 60


          21       branches.  So that is the same bug that


          22       Mr Justice Fraser is referring to here.


          23           If one goes to paragraph 131 in the appendix:


          24           "The bug related to the process of moving


          25       discrepancies into the local ...(Reading to the


                                            12





           1       words)... The majority of incidents are recorded as


           2       occurring between August and October 2010.  The bug was


           3       documented in a report from Mr Gareth Jenkins, dated


           4       29 September 2010."


           5           He quotes from it.


           6           Can we move, please, to page 756, at paragraph 139?


           7       One doesn't perhaps need to go into the technical stuff


           8       too much, but it is the third line:


           9           "This led eventually, on 5 October 2010, to the


          10       entry peak of product error fix after a patch had been


          11       released.  The patch displaced the change or set of


          12       changes to a programme or its supporting data and is


          13       something that changes the operation of the software."


          14           I don't need to go to the summary of bugs, which you


          15       will find in your bundle B.  But, in summary, that is


          16       exactly what Mr Justice Fraser summarised as the effect


          17       of the bug.  Its effects occurred between August -- the


          18       majority of them between August and October 2010, and it


          19       was fixed around October 2010.


          20           So, the important point is the bug which appears in


          21       Horizon online, no direct applicability to a number of


          22       these cases involving shortfalls in the branches running


          23       Legacy Horizon.  The CCRC rely on this clearly as


          24       a finding because it was one of two concerns which they


          25       described in the statement of reasons which I have taken


                                            13





           1       the court to, paragraph 127(1).


           2   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Mr Altman, I understand, of course,


           3       the broad point you are making.  Is it accepted by the


           4       respondent that this particular bug was relevant to any


           5       of the appeals?


           6   MR ALTMAN:  It was only relevant in the way that we have


           7       conceded and accepted it as long ago as the respondent's


           8       notice, that it should be considered for disclosure,


           9       ought to have been disclosed in Ms Misra's trial.


          10           You will remember we have (Inaudible) notes which


          11       are dated, it's thought around September/October 2010.


          12       Then there is that email exchange, that you will also


          13       remember, of 8 October 2010, in which Alan Simpson, who


          14       was one of those present at the meeting, emailed


          15       Rob Wilson, the head of the criminal department, and


          16       Jarnail Singh and Julia Patalay(?), (Inaudible), and you


          17       will also remember Mr Simpson expressed his concern


          18       about repercussions on other cases, which your Lordship


          19       adverted to yesterday.


          20           Now, at Mrs Misra's trial began on 11 October, days


          21       afterwards, so it is entirely conceivable, even


          22       though -- and Ms Misra's case was about Legacy Horizon.


          23       The indictment dates in her case were between middle


          24       of June 2005 and 14 January 2018.  That was


          25       Legacy Horizon, so a bug which appears in Horizon online


                                            14





           1       cannot have any direct application to a previous


           2       iteration of the Horizon system.  But anyone who had or


           3       should have applied their mind to the concerns which


           4       were expressed and known about in Post Office security


           5       and in the (Inaudible) as we have accepted, they should


           6       have applied their minds to it, they should have


           7       considered the disclosure and, our submission is it


           8       should have been disclosed in Ms Misra's trial, and it


           9       ought to have been disclosed, or considered for


          10       disclosure, I should say perhaps more accurately, in all


          11       cases following thereafter.  We have made that plain in


          12       the past.


          13   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.


          14   MR ALTMAN:  The why, the why it didn't happen, we have set


          15       out, you may recall, in our short response skeleton of


          16       8 January.  We don't know.  Was it incompetence?  Was it


          17       individuals not understanding their duties?  Or was it


          18       deliberate?  There is no evidence before the court to


          19       say which it was, but the plain fact of the evidence is


          20       it was not disclosed and, in Ms Misra's case in


          21       particular, that is recognised as part of the overall


          22       concession in her case.


          23           Hers is a particularly bad example when compared to


          24       (Inaudible) of non-disclosure, given that one could say


          25       that Ms Misra's trial was the high-water mark of


                                            15





           1       litigation on issues of Horizon integrity.  Therefore


           2       anyone should be on notice of the important issues which


           3       were being played out in her trial, when not only


           4       Gareth Jenkins was called on behalf of the Post Office,


           5       but Professor McLachlan on behalf of Ms Misra, but it


           6       wasn't and it ought to have been.  That, we say, is part


           7       of -- we don't seek to trivialise it at all, but that is


           8       all part of the limb 1 discussion.


           9   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  But we can take it, can we, that no


          10       document you want to draw to our attention in which


          11       those in authority, in the relevant prosecutions


          12       department, met the revelation of this bug and its


          13       non-disclosure with letters of protest saying, "What on


          14       earth are you doing not complying with your clear duties


          15       of disclosure?"


          16   MR ALTMAN:  As your Lordship knows, this has been


          17       (Inaudible) an extensive post (Inaudible) disclosure


          18       exercise, between 3 and 4 million documents have been


          19       looked at.


          20   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.


          21   MR ALTMAN:  No one has brought to my attention any document


          22       that explains, one way or the other, why it happened,


          23       why it didn't happen.  Or, to answer your Lordship's


          24       direct question, there were no protests, nothing of that


          25       kind.


                                            16





           1           But here is the important point: this is all


           2       happening in October 2010.  One can look forwards, if


           3       the court wishes, and ask the question, balancing all


           4       the factors, for example, in Ms Misra's case, does that


           5       amount to abuse in her particular case, given the nature


           6       of her defence, the nature of the issues, and the


           7       importance, or not, of the RPM bug in particular or


           8       generally to the overview of the integrity of the


           9       Horizon system.


          10           That on its own facts is open to the court to


          11       adjudge.  What, with respect, one can't do, is look


          12       backwards and say before that bug arose in Horizon


          13       online, in 2010 -- one cannot look backwards and say it


          14       impacted on 10 years' worth of cases before then.  That


          15       is the problem and one we are trying to illustrate.


          16   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Can I just ask you, your launchpad for


          17       your submissions so far this morning is paragraph 127.


          18   MR ALTMAN:  Yes.


          19   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  That is a paragraph that begins with the


          20       word:


          21           "Furthermore ..."


          22   MR ALTMAN:  Yes.


          23   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  It then says you don't need time "to


          24       backdate, but ..." and then it says what it says.


          25   MR ALTMAN:  Yes.


                                            17





           1   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  But it follows, at paragraph 124, which


           2       you took us to, which begins with:


           3           "In the CCRC's view the High Court finding is


           4       summarised at paragraph 112 above are no less important


           5       to the consideration of whether there has been a second


           6       category abuse of process.


           7           "When those findings are considered in the


           8       round ..."


           9           Then it says what it says.


          10           If you then go back to paragraph 112, which is


          11       page 47, you see there that it lists a number of


          12       findings of Mr Justice Fraser, including that


          13       Legacy Horizon was not remotely robust, the first


          14       iteration of Horizon online was slightly more robust,


          15       and so on.


          16           I am just drawing this to your attention because it


          17       would be wrong, wouldn't it, for us to proceed on the


          18       basis that what the CCRC says about the second category


          19       of abuse is founded only on a paragraph beginning with


          20       the word "Furthermore"?


          21   MR ALTMAN:  I am not saying that, and I was going to make


          22       clear what my case, but I am not saying that, about


          23       these are two very important features which did


          24       influence the CCRC's reasons under limb 2.


          25           In actual fact, of course, if one goes to


                                            18





           1       paragraph 112, as the CCRC itself makes plain, they


           2       support limb 1 side of things as much as they do


           3       anything else.  We say actually (Inaudible) they're


           4       limb 1 and not limb 2.  But what tipped the balance, we


           5       suggest, of the CCRC were these two particular concerns


           6       and I will show you why in a moment.


           7           But your Lordship is absolutely right, I don't want


           8       for one second the court to run away with the idea that


           9       it is just about 127, it is not.  Of course there are


          10       other findings, and they make clear, as I will show you


          11       in a while, that when they conclude in relation to each


          12       grouping, they state the numerous significant findings


          13       in the High Court judgment.  But, in particular, they


          14       rely on the two concerns, and that is why we say it is


          15       so important to just stand back and look at what


          16       persuaded the CCRC, as your Lordship puts it, the


          17       platform on which I am launching this particular


          18       argument.


          19   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Thank you.


          20   MR ALTMAN:  Now, the other (Inaudible) is that, in actual


          21       fact, when one analyses paragraph 457 of the Horizon


          22       issues judgment, the one where Mr Justice Fraser makes


          23       a series of comments, right comments -- nobody is


          24       criticising him, but comments is what they were.  They


          25       were not findings and they were not material to the


                                            19





           1       Horizon issues (Inaudible), and so we submit it is


           2       important that distinction is borne in mind.


           3           So, when one thinks about the date in which the


           4       receipts and payments mismatch bug arose in 2010, the


           5       Post Office couldn't obviously disclose something to


           6       applicants or those who came before because it had not


           7       existed, and it is easy to overlook -- as we suggest the


           8       CCRC itself did -- that fundamental truth.


           9           The first point we make is that to refer to the


          10       judge's comments as signifying, as the CCRC did, that


          11       the respondent consciously deprived defendants and the


          12       courts of a full and accurate understanding of the


          13       reliability of Horizon, as fairly representative of the


          14       Post Office's approach to disclosure during its criminal


          15       prosecutions, in all cases over all time, is not right.


          16           One could criticise the Post Office for what


          17       happened after this particular event, but what one


          18       cannot do, with respect, is to apply it retrospectively.


          19   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  One cannot apply retrospectively in


          20       the sense, as you have just said, before 2010 there


          21       wasn't anything to disclose in this particular respect.


          22       But you will no doubt want to come on, at some point in


          23       your submissions, to address Mr Stein's submission that,


          24       even in 2013, Mr Clark was still having to give what


          25       might be thought to be pretty rudimentary advice about


                                            20





           1       the disclosure duties.


           2   MR ALTMAN:  I am going to come on to that.


           3   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Okay.


           4   MR ALTMAN:  The use of the word "conscious" to describe the


           5       deprivation, suggests the CCRC were saying not just the


           6       Post Office lawyers, but also their agents and counsel,


           7       had knowledge, some knowledge or awareness, at the time


           8       of the individual proceedings that they were depriving


           9       defendants, not just those going forwards, but all those


          10       going backwards in the course of a full and accurate


          11       understanding of the reliability of Horizon over all


          12       time.


          13           The point, focusing for the moment on the receipt


          14       and payments mismatch bug in the autumn of 2010, the


          15       point is that when the court is determining, as


          16       I already said, the issue of whether what happened in


          17       Ms Misra's case and any cases thereafter, whether that


          18       amounted to limb 2, its non-disclosure was such that it


          19       amounted to an affront to the public conscience, the


          20       court doesn't know whether it was just plain


          21       incompetence or whether it was entirely deliberate.


          22           The court doesn't know whether there was some


          23       overreliance on Fujitsu in relation to all other issues


          24       which have been submitted about yesterday, or


          25       an assumption about Horizon's reliability that later


                                            21





           1       proved unreasonable.  Because, like any system, like any


           2       IT system, they have glitches and bugs.  The question


           3       is: at what point does a system like that prove to be so


           4       unreliable and so lacking robustness -- not used as


           5       an ordinary term of English, but used in the way that


           6       Mr Justice Fraser used it in the Horizon issues


           7       judgment, in paragraphs 36 to 56.  How does anybody know


           8       at what point -- how does one judge at what point, if it


           9       was reasonable to rely upon Horizon and make assumptions


          10       about its reliability, at what point that was no longer


          11       reasonable?


          12           The cases -- if I may select them just as examples,


          13       as I did yesterday -- of Ms Misra, Ms Felstead, and


          14       Ms Skinner are good examples of the dangers at the


          15       time, submitted about to the court, and how just using


          16       that above, and the CCRC's approach to this aspect has


          17       underlined its reasons on limb 2 without any trace of


          18       analysis can lead to unjust results on limb 2.  The


          19       first one to remind you of is Ms Misra pleading guilty


          20       to false accounting in March 2009.  She was later


          21       convicted of theft at a trial, in October 2010.


          22           If the court were to arrive at the conclusion, by


          23       way of example, of Ms Misra's conviction for theft is


          24       unassailable on grounds of limb 2, in light of the


          25       failure to disclose the RPM bug before or during her


                                            22





           1       trial in the issues being litigated, the same simply


           2       cannot follow in respect of her pleas of guilty to false


           3       accounting, which were entered long before the RPM bug


           4       had appeared in Horizon online and before Fujitsu and/or


           5       Post Office discussed its impact on future cases


           6       in September/October 2010.


           7           If the court was to find that the RPM bug issue led


           8       to Ms Misra's conviction of theft being held to be


           9       unsafe on grounds of limb 2 abuse, that finding simply


          10       cannot apply to her pleas in March the year before.


          11           Equally, that bug, as everyone acknowledges, cannot


          12       have been disclosed in the cases of Ms Felstead, who was


          13       convicted in 2001, and Ms Skinner in 2007.  It had no


          14       bearing on their cases.


          15           That is why we say it is important, and entirely


          16       accepting what my Lord, Mr Justice Picken, said about


          17       what the CCRC relied upon.  But our submission is these


          18       two issues of concern furthermore appear to be tipping


          19       points for the CCRC with a view to Horizon.  I come --


          20       not yet, but I will -- to paragraph 128.


          21           Before I do, can I deal with the second point of


          22       concern?


          23           That the CCRC dealt with the Post Office, continuing


          24       comprehensively, overstated the contractual obligations


          25       on the sub-postmasters to make good losses.  I am


                                            23





           1       reading from 127(2), at page 52:


           2           "The High Court concluded there was no excuse for


           3       this, that it must have been ...(Reading to the


           4       words)... sub-postmaster to believe they had no choice


           5       but to pay, and really was 'oppressive behaviour' by the


           6       Post Office."


           7           There is then a reference to two paragraphs of the


           8       common issues judgment, paragraph 222, and


           9       paragraph 723.


          10           The basis for this, again using the statement of


          11       reasons at bundle A1, is to be found at page 78.


          12           This is all part of -- I think I may have given you


          13       the wrong reference.  Forgive me, it is page 36.


          14           You will find the heading at H, section 1 of the


          15       reference.  Paragraph H.  There you will find over those


          16       few paragraphs reference to that second concern.


          17           If one looks at the top of page 37:


          18           "The CCRC does make clear, we will see in square


          19       brackets, in relation to a letter sent to a particular


          20       sub-postmaster, Mr Sabir(?), in January 2010, and this


          21       is where the CCRC take the quotation, at paragraph 222


          22       of the common issues judgment:


          23           "There can be no excuse, in my judgment, for


          24       an entity such as the Post Office to misstate in such


          25       clearly expressed terms, in letters that threaten legal


                                            24





           1       action, the extent of the contractual obligation on


           2       a sub-postmaster for the losses.


           3           "The only reason for doing so, in my judgment, must


           4       have been to ...(Reading to the words)... to believe


           5       that they have absolutely no option but to pay the sum


           6       demanded."


           7           And this is where those words come from:


           8           "It is oppressive behaviour."


           9           Then, at paragraph 79, Mr Justice Fraser's finding


          10       that the Post Office behaved oppressively towards


          11       sub-postmasters by routinely overstating the


          12       sub-postmasters' contractual obligation for branch


          13       losses provides, in the CCRC view, further important


          14       context to the criminal prosecutions of sub-postmasters.


          15       The CCRC observed that it reinforces other findings of


          16       Fraser J in (Inaudible) 63 and 64 above.  If you just


          17       flick back momentarily to those, they found the head of


          18       Post Office adopting the default position, that


          19       sub-postmasters must be responsible for the level of


          20       investigation by the Post Office and Fujitsu


          21       (Inaudible), which has been conceded.


          22           But it was the default position of Post Office to


          23       hold (Inaudible) postmasters' response more for


          24       discrepancies, and that this assumption operated in the


          25       place of an objective and thorough investigation into


                                            25





           1       the possible cause or causes of apparent branch


           2       shortages.  Now, I repeat that has been part of the


           3       concession on all the limb 1 cases.


           4           The factual background to this hiving is, and I am


           5       not going it take your Lordship and my Lady to


           6       paragraphs 221 and 222, in fact, of the common issue


           7       judgment, but I will give you the reference.  It is


           8       bundle A, tab 1, letter (a), at page 169.


           9           The background to the finding is that, in early


          10       2010, the Post Office had been seeking to recoup and


          11       then sue Mr Mohammed Sabir, who happened to be one of


          12       the lead claimants in the group litigation.  Mr Sabir


          13       was never prosecuted, far less convicted of any


          14       allegations.  But it was over some £360, and the letters


          15       sent to him referred to the sub-postmasters' contract as


          16       rendering him liable to make good any losses which, as


          17       Mr Justice Fraser said, was a mistake.  He, as we see,


          18       determined that the behaviour that led recipients to


          19       believe they had absolutely no option but to pay the


          20       sums of money was, as he put it, "oppressive".


          21           The only other finding in the case which may be of


          22       relevance to this clause is in relation to Ms Stubbs,


          23       who was another lead claimant.  There was no (Inaudible)


          24       demand in her case, but it was a case in point


          25       (Inaudible) for the claimants, which Mr Justice Fraser


                                            26





           1       had something to say about, at page 151 of the common


           2       issues judgment.


           3           The other thing that he did make clear -- and it is


           4       the paragraph which the CCRC themselves refer to at the


           5       other paragraph 723 of the common issues judgment -- is


           6       that the criticism of Post Office's behaviour in this


           7       regard was identified, as he put it, "in the cases of


           8       the lead claimants".


           9           So, when one puts that in its proper context, and


          10       while I am not standing here defending any of the


          11       criticisms he made, as it were, or defending the


          12       Post Office against criticisms he made, it is important


          13       to recognise that the criticisms and the words


          14       "oppressive behaviour" referred to the case in


          15       particular of Mr Sabir, in respect of whom he made


          16       a finding as being one of the lead claimants.  He was


          17       not making a generalised globalised judgment on this


          18       issue in relation to anyone else, I accept.


          19           My Lord wants to ask a question?


          20   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Only this: I am looking at the earlier


          21       paragraphs of the common issues judgment.  My


          22       understanding is that the lead claimants were selected


          23       through a process of putting forward representative type


          24       claims, so as to avoid having to deal with 550-odd


          25       claims.


                                            27





           1   MR ALTMAN:  I agree.  But your Lordship is absolutely right.


           2       But, by the same token, but for the second there would


           3       have been individual trials thereafter.  I am not going


           4       to pray that in aid for obvious reasons, but it is


           5       a fact that is how the trial process in these issues


           6       were going to go.


           7           Your Lordship is right, but my point is perhaps


           8       a general one, that Mr Sabir -- what the CCRC had


           9       reminded him of was a finding in relation to Mr Sabir,


          10       and there was no other evidence about which I suggest,


          11       Mr Justice Fraser would say oppressive behaviour, other


          12       than by reference to Mr Sabir's case, and it was.  But


          13       to extrapolate from that and, as it were, say that


          14       finding, if it was a finding, can apply across the board


          15       to all of these appellants without analysis -- that is


          16       my real point, without analysis -- is another matter.


          17   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  But paragraph 723, subparagraph (1), as


          18       you acknowledge, says:


          19           "This was routinely and comprehensively ignored by


          20       the Post Office."


          21   MR ALTMAN:  It does.


          22   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I think it is fair to say there were


          23       attempts to challenge this judgment, at a number of


          24       letters, and I am not aware -- anyway, they didn't go


          25       anywhere.


                                            28





           1   MR ALTMAN:  You are right about that, too.  It didn't go


           2       anywhere.


           3           But all I am submitting is one has to take great


           4       care before applying that kind of finding across the


           5       board to everyone.


           6           In other words, what the CCRC was influenced by was


           7       what they understood to be oppressive behaviour of that


           8       particular kind and, without case sensitive analysis of


           9       individual cases, how can one be confident that kind of


          10       oppressive behaviour applied across the board in every


          11       case?


          12   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  That section, that 723 is part of, is


          13       a section headed:


          14           "Related contracts."


          15           It concerns matters such as imbalance of contractual


          16       bargaining power had at 722.  So, it was treated by all


          17       parties before Mr Justice Fraser as a point of general


          18       application.  It is in that context that he makes the


          19       finding of routine and comprehensive ignoring.


          20   MR ALTMAN:  Your Lordship is right.  But this is a criminal


          21       case, and a criminal case where the appellants --


          22       I don't want to be overtechnical, but it is the law, the


          23       burden on abuse of process.  In order to say to the


          24       court that, in my particular case, the Post Office was


          25       guilty of that kind of oppressive behaviour, one would


                                            29





           1       have to find it within the facts of the case.


           2   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  But you acknowledge that, but you are


           3       not in a position to say: oh, no, no, it is only those


           4       two lead claimants that the Post Office adopted this


           5       particular line with; everyone else they were completely


           6       and utterly --


           7   MR ALTMAN:  I am not saying that.


           8   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Of course not.


           9   MR ALTMAN:  I am looking at the judgment on which great


          10       reliance is placed.


          11   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  You are not saying it for perfectly


          12       understandable reasons, but then to put the burden of


          13       proof point forward, even acknowledging this is criminal


          14       and not commercial may be said to have its limitations.


          15   MR ALTMAN:  I said I didn't want to be guilty of making an


          16       over-technical point and your Lordships may look at it


          17       slightly differently, but the court has my point, that


          18       care has to be taken before adopting such


          19       generalisations to all cases.


          20           There is a better point I can make, and it is this:


          21       what Mr Justice Fraser said about the sub-postmasters'


          22       contract not only applies to sub-postmasters, what it


          23       doesn't apply to are the 11 appellants before the court


          24       who were not sub-postmasters.  They were, for example,


          25       managers, and can they forgive me, please, for using


                                            30





           1       just surnames.


           2           Holmes, Gill, Capon, O'Connell, Graham, and Hussain,


           3       one of the opposed cases, they were all managers, not


           4       sub-postmasters or subject to sub-postmasters' contract.


           5           Counter clerks: Felstead and (Inaudible).  Officers


           6       in charge: Irwin and Howard, and one sub-Post Office


           7       assistant.


           8           So, even if one took the point, routine,


           9       comprehensive, oppressive behaviour, all the points


          10       my Lord Mr Justice Picken has thrown back at me, which


          11       I am prepared to accept, they cannot apply to the 11


          12       appellants' fraud, who were simply not subject to that


          13       contract.  Yet again the CCRC made no such distinction.


          14           One comes then to paragraph 128, as I said I would,


          15       of the reference.  Behind tab 1, bundle A, at page 52.


          16           This is how 128 reads:


          17           "The CCRC is concerned by this evidence that


          18       Post Office, which was victim, investigator, and


          19       prosecutor in the case in question, consciously deprived


          20       defendants and the courts of a full and accurate


          21       understanding of the reliability of the Horizon system,


          22       that it behaved oppressively to sub-postmasters by


          23       overstating their contractual obligations."


          24           So, the CCRC has placed some reliance on those two


          25       concerns, subject to all the limitations that we have


                                            31





           1       (Inaudible), but placed some reliance, some weight in


           2       arriving at its view.  But all of those matters in


           3       paragraph 112 were not only matters which went to


           4       limb 1, but, in addition to that, went to limb 2.


           5           We can see that the permission relied on the


           6       numerous significant findings.  As I have said,


           7       I concede it is not just about this, though this was


           8       influential.  Its concerns about those two particular


           9       findings because it applied them to the groupings of


          10       cases before it.  In two cases explicitly, and in one


          11       I suggest implicitly.  If we can go, please, within the


          12       reference to the same tab, it is page 60.


          13           This is part of the subheading of applicants who


          14       were convicted after a trial on a not guilty plea, and


          15       paragraph 159.  If one looks at the top of the page,


          16       four lines down:


          17           "In the context of the numerous significant findings


          18       between the Post Office and the High Court's judgments,


          19       including the two particular findings, which are set out


          20       in paragraph 127(5) above, the CCRC considers there to


          21       be a real possibility that the ...(Reading to the


          22       words)... will conclude, in the words of Lord Steyn, it


          23       was an affront to the public conscience for criminal


          24       proceedings to take place in all these (Inaudible)."


          25           For example, if we go back a single page, to


                                            32





           1       page 59, paragraph 158, there, just by way of example,


           2       at subparagraph 1, the trials in these two cases took


           3       place in 2001 and 2003.  Well, the first of those


           4       findings cannot possibly have applied.


           5           Then, if the court will please move on to page 73,


           6       where CCRC is dealing with its conclusions on guilty


           7       pleas supporting guilty cases, paragraph 176.  We find


           8       much the same sort of framework:


           9           "Even where the Post Office applicants have admitted


          10       to entering false figures in branch accounts in order to


          11       conceal apparent shortfalls, the CCRC considers that in


          12       the context of the numerous significant findings against


          13       the Post Office in the High Court's judgment, including


          14       two particular findings set out at paragraph 127 ..."


          15           And so on and so forth.


          16           Then, finally, in this regard, page 79, CCRC's


          17       conclusions in relation to guilty plea instances.


          18       Slightly differently worded, paragraph 183:


          19           "CCRC is satisfied that the arguments in relation to


          20       abuse of process, see summary at paragraph 110 above,


          21       applies in the eight guilty plea cases in this group,


          22       even where the Post Office applicants have admitted to


          23       taking Post Office money, the CCRC considers that the


          24       evidential content of the individual cases in this


          25       group, taken together, were numerous significant


                                            33





           1       findings against ..."


           2           Et cetera, et cetera.  It does not advert directly


           3       to paragraph 127, but submitted that the CCRC could not


           4       (Inaudible) grounds in the sense that it wasn't relying


           5       on (Inaudible) concerned.


           6           So, my Lord, that is all I am going to say about


           7       CCRC's references.


           8           I will turn, if I may, mindful of the time, to my


           9       general submissions on the appellants' grounds.


          10           The appellants' ground arguments, on limb 2, as


          11       I have said, in the CCRC's reasons, which we have


          12       submitted are flawed.  They place reliance on a global


          13       approach, together with the employment and a series of


          14       documents taken largely, not exclusively, from cases not


          15       before the court, as well as from internal reports to


          16       paint a generalised picture that Royal Mail or


          17       Post Office prosecutions were limb 2 unsafe.


          18           Where there is reference to documents from these


          19       appellants' cases, none of these so far is said to


          20       reveal case sensitive limb 2 abuse.


          21           Also, there is no case sensitive analysis of how, if


          22       at all, the general issues which have been submitted to


          23       the court impacted on the individual's cases.  It is not


          24       enough, we submit, to say that the reliability of


          25       Horizon data was essential to the case.  If there were


                                            34





           1       failures of disclosure and investigation such that all


           2       cases are unsafe on limb 2 as well as limb 1 grounds.


           3           As I have said, and I am going for repeat it,


           4       because it ought to be repeated, but in the case of


           5       Ms Misra, as we understand it, the failure to disclose


           6       the (Inaudible), the argument her case is relied upon,


           7       understandably, as a case specific feature of limb 2.


           8           Albeit Messrs Parekh and Page make reference in


           9       their skeleton arguments to the facts in their cases,


          10       they and the remaining appellants did not, as we have


          11       understood it thus far from the documents we received --


          12       and goodness knows we received an awful lot in this


          13       case -- point to any case specific issue or issues in


          14       their cases, such as the ones that we have rightly


          15       conceded in the four cases I named yesterday, on limb 2,


          16       that render them also limb 2 abuses of process.  Rather


          17       they make the point contended about Post Office conduct


          18       and their motives, general, broadbrush, global, to argue


          19       that their cases were unsafe on limb 2.


          20           Just by way of example, my Lord, can we go to


          21       a bundle?  I don't think you have been taken to yet to


          22       bundle G.  Bundle G, tab 11, page 105.  You will find


          23       a skeleton argument, which was put in on behalf of


          24       Ms Misra, Ms Felstead and Ms Skinner.


          25           12 March, it is dated 12 March, so this was


                                            35





           1       a skeleton put in, in relation to the final direction of


           2       the court back in November.


           3   MRS JUSTICE FARBEY:  Could you repeat the reference?


           4   MR ALTMAN:  Of course, my Lady.  It is page 105, tab 11,


           5       bundle G.


           6           That is the beginning of the skeleton document.  If


           7       we go, please, to page 114, at paragraph 24, Ms Busch


           8       relies heavily on that stage in the process, of bringing


           9       a prosecution by reference to the decision to prosecute.


          10       She reminds us that the Post Office was found to take


          11       the decisions to prosecute as a responsible and


          12       disinterested prosecutor advancing the public as opposed


          13       to its private interests, and she sets out there seven:


          14           "Subparagraphs including making decisions in


          15       a manner that is fair and objective, by reference to


          16       the~(Inaudible) Crown prosecutor."


          17           It is reasonable for her to have made that


          18       suggestion.  But for there to be no, with respect,


          19       analysis of alleged failings or prosecutorial misconduct


          20       under the code, and indeed under the CPIA, for the


          21       purposes of limb 2 without an examination of the alleged


          22       misconduct of those individuals, the decision makers.


          23       It is that which matters.  For obvious reasons, the


          24       High Court didn't hear from anyone.  We suggest trying


          25       to extrapolate from judgments, findings, that were not


                                            36





           1       designed to pronounce on those matters is not helpful.


           2           Paragraph 66, the same document at page 127, the


           3       argument is made that the Post Office ought to have


           4       known how its own system works.  The reference is to


           5       paragraph 1018 of the Horizon issues judgment, and


           6       perhaps we could look at that.


           7           My Lords and my Lady, can I make sure that is the


           8       right reference before I ask you to --


           9   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I think this is volume A, tab 1A,


          10       page 780.


          11   MR ALTMAN:  No, page 716.


          12   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  716?


          13   MR ALTMAN:  716, 1018, tab B.


          14           This was Mr Justice Fraser's finding in relation to


          15       one of the issues he had to deal with.  "The


          16       Post Office", he says in the second line:


          17           "The Post Office ought to have known how its own


          18       system works.  It is agreed by the experts that


          19       a sub-postmaster cannot record a dispute in Horizon at


          20       all."


          21           What Ms Busch argues, in paragraph 6 of her skeleton


          22       argument, is that Post Office ought to have known how


          23       its system works.


          24           That was an issue, as I say, which related to the


          25       sub-postmasters not being able to record a dispute on


                                            37





           1       Horizon.  I am sorry to have to take you to another part


           2       of your bundles, but if we look, please, at the common


           3       issues judgment, which you will find in the bundle at A,


           4       1A, so tab A, behind 1.  Tab 1, in bundle A, and page 92


           5       is where it begins.  At page 231 in that bundle, please.


           6       231, paragraph 460.


           7           Here if one flicks back to 230, Mr Justice Fraser


           8       was dealing with the evidence of Helen Dickinson.  We


           9       can see, at 452, on page 230, she was, or is at that


          10       time, security team leader at the Post Office.  Started


          11       at Royal Mail in 1992 with a delivery job.  Her interest


          12       increased, the role evolved into that field of revenue


          13       protection, which was the department responsible for


          14       preventing loss of cash stock assets by errors or fraud.


          15       Worked in management, in revenue protection for five


          16       years, and then became area manager and moved into the


          17       security and investigations service team in Royal Mail


          18       in 2000, which dealt with fraud.


          19           Then joined the Post Office investigation team in


          20       2003, and was promoted to security team leader in 2013.


          21       It is against that background I invite the court to look


          22       at 460, paragraph 460, on page 231:


          23           "Ms Dickinson, given all of that experience, didn't


          24       know [obviously this is Mr Justice Fraser] that there


          25       was no ...(Reading to the words)... button on the


                                            38





           1       Horizon system, and that even disputed items by


           2       sub-postmasters had to be accepted so far as the Horizon


           3       system is concerned.


           4           "This is a surprising admission in the knowledge in


           5       the knowledge of someone whose ...(Reading to the


           6       words)... includes dealing with potentially dishonest


           7       sub-postmasters.  She has only limited knowledge of the


           8       Horizon system, although she had been given some initial


           9       training on a course with sub-postmasters and said she


          10       had picked things up since.  She said, 'The number of


          11       days' training was three, and then basically you pick


          12       things up as you go along.  Ultimately, I wouldn't work


          13       on the Horizon system because then that would cause


          14       conflict with me investigating a matter'."


          15           My point is: if someone of that seniority within the


          16       Post Office didn't understand the system, then the


          17       submission that the Post Office ought to know its own


          18       system breaks down at higher levels than Ms Dickinson.


          19       It is pretty unlikely that the decision makers


          20       understood how Horizon itself worked, and I will come


          21       back to Fujitsu in a while.


          22   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  He goes on, in paragraph 461, to say


          23       that he doesn't see why there is a conflict:


          24           "But, anyway, logic would suggest the investigator


          25       might be assisted by having more, or even some, detailed


                                            39





           1       knowledge of how Horizon worked.  Anyway, essentially he


           2       gets somebody to help."


           3   MR ALTMAN:  Yes, I can't dispute that.  My point is, that's


           4       the level of knowledge.


           5   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Sorry to interrupt, Mr Altman,


           6       I don't want you to think I am sniping at you in any


           7       way, but I am afraid I just don't understand this point.


           8           If the proposition is the Post Office ought to know


           9       how its own system works, you may or may not wish to


          10       argue against that.  But, if it is a valid proposition,


          11       then simply to say, "Actually, they didn't know how it


          12       all worked", is a confession, not a challenge to the


          13       assumption.


          14   MR ALTMAN:  First of all, I am not up here to challenge


          15       anything.  All I am saying is: when it is suggested that


          16       the Post Office ought to know, first of all, in fact,


          17       the Post Office relied a lot on Fujitsu, and I am going


          18       to come back to that because Mr Justice Fraser had a lot


          19       to say about that.  That is the first point.


          20           But, secondly, I can't deny that Post Office ought


          21       to have known that there is -- and they did know, and


          22       I am going to show you how they did know certain things


          23       because I am going to take you to certain paragraphs of


          24       what Mr Justice Fraser said on this issue.


          25           But the fact they ought to know, the question


                                            40





           1       arises: how much ought they to have known?  And "how


           2       much?" comes back to "ought they to have appreciated?",


           3       and how much ought they to have understood about where


           4       the active risks were?


           5   MRS JUSTICE FARBEY:  I, like Mr Justice Holroyde, don't want


           6       to snipe, but can I try to provide the answer to you?


           7       The answer to that is sufficiently for them to prosecute


           8       responsibly and not irresponsibly, bearing in mind that


           9       their lack of knowledge may end up with the denial of


          10       the deprivation of liberty of those who were affected by


          11       those decisions.  I think one has to look at the context


          12       of it before saying whether or not that finding by


          13       Mr Justice Fraser, whether limited in the way we say or


          14       not, is a reason to exculpate your client.


          15   MR ALTMAN:  The problem, if I may say so, my Lady, with that


          16       is that -- let's move away from the Post Office and


          17       think, for example, about the Crown Prosecution Service.


          18       It often prosecutes cases based on facts which are


          19       outwith its own knowledge.  It might rely on a suite of


          20       experts, and it might rely on the expertise of people


          21       who say, for example, DNA.  Imagine if an individual was


          22       found in a particular place that makes a case that might


          23       otherwise have been not possible to put, passed the


          24       first stage of the test of Crown prosecutors.


          25           I accept that, in the situation in which the


                                            41





           1       Post Office found itself, where it had a supply contract


           2       with Post Office, with Fujitsu, and Fujitsu supplied its


           3       IT, that more knowledge was better than none, but that


           4       is not with respect to be equated with the prosecuting


           5       responsibly because the question arises -- it is the


           6       question I posed earlier: at what point -- because it


           7       cannot be from the beginning, I suggest.  At what point,


           8       if any, was it no longer reasonable for the Post Office


           9       to rely upon Fujitsu or rely upon what Fujitsu was


          10       telling it about its systems?


          11           That is the problem.  It is a different one, but if


          12       Fujitsu was the supplier, was the expert, and on


          13       occasions when they supplied Gareth Jenkins as an expert


          14       witness, or he was called as an expert witness, to what


          15       extent was Post Office not permitted to rely upon him


          16       when he said the system was robust?


          17           That actually brings us to the Clark advice, because


          18       it was because of what was discovered by the circuitous


          19       route of setting aside the interim report of 8 July,


          20       which was discovered by chance, by Simon Clark and


          21       Martin Smith of Cartwright King, it was Gareth Jenkins


          22       who had supplied the information about those two bugs,


          23       the Second Sight for the purpose of that interim report,


          24       that they, Simon Clark, on instruction, wrote the advice


          25       to the Post Office that Jenkins couldn't be relied upon.


                                            42





           1       That if he was an expert, he was in breach of his duties


           2       and, frankly, even if he wasn't, he was in breach of


           3       duties to reveal -- or just the common fact he was


           4       a witness, even if he was a witness of fact, rather than


           5       one of (Inaudible).  There was certainly a duty on him,


           6       where it was reasonable to expect him to provide the


           7       information to the Post Office.


           8   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Before we go any further with that,


           9       Mr Altman -- we will perhaps postpone it to a later


          10       stage -- probably now is a good time to break, but


          11       perhaps we can just flag up, for you and others, that


          12       some of what you have just said rather touches upon one


          13       of Ms Busch's submissions yesterday, which one might


          14       encapsulate by saying: who knew [or ought to have known]


          15       what, when?


          16           We might be assisted by some consideration of


          17       whether the words in the square brackets should be there


          18       and, if so, how they should be applied.


          19   MR ALTMAN:  My Lord, I am coming to that.


          20   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I guessed you would be.


          21           All right, we will rise until 12.05.  We understand


          22       there will be a tannoy announcement at 12.00.  Thank you


          23       all very much.


          24   (11.55 am)


          25                      (A short adjournment)


                                            43





           1   (12.05 pm)


           2   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes, Mr Altman.


           3   MR ALTMAN:  My Lord, can I invite the court, please, to


           4       page 253, common issues judgment, bundle A, tab 1A,


           5       page 253, and paragraph 541.


           6           As I said, I will come back to this to go through


           7       some documents Mr Justice Fraser adverted to during the


           8       course of his judgment.


           9           At 541, he says:


          10           "A number of contemporaneous documents internal to


          11       the Post Office show there has been, at least to some


          12       degree, an awareness of Horizon problems within the


          13       Post Office itself over a number of years.  A number of


          14       these documents were put to the different Post Office


          15       witnesses.  These documents were referred to in the


          16       transcripts of proceedings, but not all of the documents


          17       were put.  I did however tell counsel~..."


          18           Then, at 542, what he does is he sets out, in fact,


          19       14 documents, extracts from them, which span the years


          20       2000 to 2017.  If one goes to number 10, it is a bit


          21       difficult to pick out, but page 256.  If the court


          22       focuses on number 10 and the date is 17 October 2012 ...


          23           You might want to make a note there, if I can


          24       respectfully suggest so because that bit is wrong.  This


          25       deals with the receipts and payments mismatch bug, and


                                            44





           1       it was then understood that was the date of those


           2       issues, when in fact months later discovered it


           3       was September/October 2010.  There, a number of


           4       documents.  The judge dealt with the receipts and


           5       payments mismatch issue notes, which you have in your


           6       bundle C, and he goes through them.  Over the page, you


           7       will see in capitals, "SOLUTION 1", "SOLUTION 2",


           8       "SOLUTION 3".


           9           So, that was number 10 on his list of 14 documents


          10       that he had seen, for the purposes of the common issues


          11       trial.  Of course, he must have had more documentation


          12       available to him for the purposes of the Horizon issues


          13       trial.  At 543, on 259, what Mr Justice Fraser says is


          14       this:


          15           "These internal Post Office entries make it clear


          16       that notwithstanding the tenor of the Post Office


          17       evidence before me, behind the scenes there were at


          18       least a number of people within the Post Office who


          19       realised that there were difficulties with the Horizon


          20       system."


          21           That much is true.  However, it is equally clear


          22       that what Mr Justice Fraser did not do -- and I am


          23       coming now to the "who knew what and when" issue -- he


          24       did not make any findings in the Horizon issues judgment


          25       about who knew what and when.  He didn't have to.


                                            45





           1   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Mr Altman, on this point of detail, and


           2       we don't need to turn it up, it is tab 428 of the


           3       Horizon judgment, he acknowledges that date of


           4       17 October is the wrong one, so that now is known.


           5   MR ALTMAN:  Yes.


           6           As it happens, I am going to the Horizon issues


           7       judgment, your Lordships are ahead of me, which is at


           8       tab B in bundle A.  Can we go, please, to page 705?


           9       705, paragraphs 960 and 961.


          10           This is what Mr Justice Fraser had to say on this


          11       issue:


          12           "In my judgment, the number of both the


          13       Post Office's own internal documents, and Fujitsu ones


          14       too, namely those that were not drafted for public


          15       consumption, plainly support my conclusions on the


          16       evidence.  Further, certain matters that have emerged in


          17       the Horizon issues trial, such as discussions within


          18       Fujitsu itself as to whether the Post Office should be


          19       told certain detrimental information about the Horizon


          20       system ..."


          21           Pausing there, I will come back to this when I deal


          22       with reliance on Fujitsu.  That is an important finding.


          23       The Post Office's own decision at the highest level not


          24       to investigate certain matters as recently as 2016 are


          25       of great concern.


                                            46





           1           The Post Office has gone to great lengths over the


           2       years, and spent a great deal of time and a huge amount


           3       of public money, in defending the performance of


           4       Horizon.  It is also the case that the Post Office must


           5       have been reliant on Fujitsu to a certain degree, in


           6       terms of being provided with accurate information of


           7       a technical nature.  Again, important.


           8           That is not only obvious from the evidence, but has


           9       also been agreed by the experts in the third joint


          10       statement.  That accuracy from Fujitsu has not always


          11       been available, as demonstrated by this judgment.


          12           Then Mr Justice Fraser goes on to say, in the next


          13       paragraph:


          14           "Regardless of that, this judgment does not deal


          15       with who, if anyone, at the Post Office knew precisely


          16       what about Horizon and when.  These are not part of the


          17       Horizon issues.  In my judgment, a number of the


          18       specific internal contemporaneous documents ...(Reading


          19       to the words)... are entirely consistent with those


          20       conclusions."


          21           Had there been those individual trials, which were


          22       due to follow, I think there may have been one other


          23       general issues trial after Horizon, then that was the


          24       time Mr Justice Fraser may have been asked to make some


          25       findings, about who knew what and when in individual


                                            47





           1       cases, but it certainly didn't come to it.


           2           Paragraph 78 of Ms Busch's skeleton argument,


           3       perhaps we don't need to go back to it, but for the


           4       court's reference, bundle G, tab 11, page 130.  She


           5       argues, and you may remember, limb 2 doesn't turn on who


           6       knew what and when.  We respectfully disagree.


           7           These decisions, the prosecution decisions, were


           8       made by human actors.  What they knew, if anything, is


           9       fundamental to any finding of limb 2 abuse.  There is


          10       a world of difference, we submit, in limb 2, between


          11       someone who was negligent or incompetent, kind of


          12       incompetence tag incompetence, gross incompetence, as


          13       Sir Brian Leveson called it in the State case, but it


          14       applies equally to the case of a private prosecutor, as


          15       regards Mrs Dickinson.  So, a world of difference in


          16       limb 2 between someone who was negligent or incompetent


          17       and didn't do their job, and someone who wilfully


          18       avoided the duties which were placed upon them.


          19           If the argument is correct, then what does limb 2


          20       turn on?


          21           I hope the court doesn't mind if I cite what


          22       my Lord, Lord Justice Holroyde, said in the judgment, on


          23       15 January of this year, in relation to the principle of


          24       the argument on limb 2.  The court may recall, in


          25       paragraph 40, this is what your Lordship had to say:


                                            48





           1           "Ground 1 involves issues as to whether the


           2       respondent made appropriate and/or timely disclosure of


           3       information and material relating to the reliability or


           4       otherwise of the Horizon system.


           5           "Ground 2 may substantially turn on whether the


           6       relevance of that information and material was


           7       appreciated at the time by anyone concerned in the


           8       commencing of the prosecution against the appellants."


           9           I accept it was couched in the way that it was, but,


          10       my Lord, we would suggest your Lordship was, absolutely,


          11       if I may say so, right; it does turn on who knew what


          12       and when at ground level, people who were making


          13       decisions.


          14           We do respectfully agree with what your Lordship had


          15       to say.  Apart from the important issue of the RPM bug


          16       and that email exchange about it between Mr Simpson and


          17       the Post Office lawyers, on 8 October 2010, in the days


          18       before Ms Misra's trial, we repeat and submit, with


          19       respect, that there has to be something that


          20       distinguishes limb 2 from limb 1, that is relevant


          21       knowledge by the relevant decision maker in the relevant


          22       case.


          23           The general proposition --


          24   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Mr Altman, if I may, what I think is


          25       said by a number of the appellants is that there was


                                            49





           1       a cultural mindset -- not the language used, but a way


           2       of describing it -- within Post Office which this court,


           3       it is suggested, can be comfortable about deciding


           4       existed, so as to mean that it is then not necessary to


           5       pinpoint individuals because those individuals would


           6       simply be following that cultural mindset.


           7   MR ALTMAN:  May I say that submission is a very dangerous


           8       one because, first, if it applies to -- when did it


           9       start?  If it started after the fifth of 32(?) cases


          10       that this court had to deal with, what happens to those


          11       cases before it?  When did it stop?  Who was involved in


          12       propagating or believing that culture?  Everybody?  Did


          13       anybody resist it?  Was there any evidence that lawyer A


          14       subscribed to that culture?  Is there any document to


          15       show that all the lawyers, including the lawyers in


          16       Cartwright King, independent of counsel, subscribe to


          17       that kind of culture?


          18   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  If you are coming to the Clark advice,


          19       of course it is said that the Clark advice, the July


          20       one, demonstrates very much that there was exactly that


          21       because that is why there were instructions to not write


          22       anything down, that sort of thing.


          23   MR ALTMAN:  Your Lordship means the 2 August.


          24   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  I mean the 2nd, I am so sorry.


          25   MR ALTMAN:  I will come to that and show you why, but let me


                                            50





           1       just touch on that now.  The fact that a rogue


           2       individual made a suggestion like that is appalling,


           3       I am going to accept that.  But when we actually see


           4       what happened, or, more accurately, what didn't happen,


           5       the court may change its mind about what Mr Singh had


           6       said about (Inaudible).


           7   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you, Mr Altman, just before we


           8       move on, if we go back to an analogy you have posed in a


           9       different context earlier this morning, take it in


          10       stages, your submission obviously would be that the CPS


          11       would be perfectly entitled to launch a prosecution in


          12       reliance on, say, DNA evidence, even though, unbeknown


          13       to the CPS, the scientists concerned knew full well that


          14       his techniques were flawed, his conclusion was totally


          15       unreliable and that he was a peddler of misinformation.


          16           Equally, at the other extreme, you accept, I am


          17       sure, that the CPS would not be entitled to launch


          18       a prosecution based upon, or substantially relying upon,


          19       BAM(?) which you knew to be (Inaudible) based on the


          20       (Inaudible), but somewhere between those two extremes,


          21       perhaps there is a statement which would be, in square


          22       brackets, for all (Inaudible), close square brackets.


          23   MR ALTMAN:  Yes.


          24   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  At some stage we would be grateful


          25       for your assistance on that.


                                            51





           1   MR ALTMAN:  It is a difficult one to confront because --


           2   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  That is why I want your assistance


           3       on it.


           4   MR ALTMAN:  It is a difficult one to confront for this


           5       reason: whether it is the right question, with respect.


           6   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.


           7   MR ALTMAN:  Because what one ought to have known is not the


           8       same thing as what that person did know, and


           9       constructive knowledge is not a concept in which the


          10       criminal lawyer gathers in terms of attributing


          11       knowledge or awareness to individuals.  Yet in my


          12       submission, the court is asked a direct question of what


          13       the Post Office ought to know and please forgive me for


          14       raising a couple of rhetorical questions: what they


          15       should have known about Horizon, is it about bugs?  If


          16       so, ought they to have known that a particular bug had


          17       been fixed?  Ought they to have known that the shortfall


          18       that a particular postmaster was complaining about, or


          19       had phoned the helplines about, could not possibly have


          20       impacted on their branch shortfall?


          21           What it that a particular bug only appeared in


          22       Horizon, and so it couldn't have applied to Legacy?  Was


          23       it one which didn't bear the hallmarks of being a bug at


          24       all because it was simply a hardware fix?  An engineer


          25       had gone into a post office and had seen certain


                                            52





           1       problems arise and they were fixed fairly sharpish.


           2           What should individuals on the ground know?


           3           There is, if one just thinks about it, the lawyers,


           4       not engineers, far less computer engineers, how far and


           5       how much should they have known, and if the court


           6       arrives at the answer, "They ought to have known


           7       something", then the question is: what and how much?


           8       Should they have had technical know-how or were they


           9       entitled to rely -- I have said this more than once, and


          10       I will come back to it -- on what they were being told?


          11       At what point did it become unreasonable for those


          12       individual lawyers, and the Post Office more generally,


          13       to rely on assumptions that were being made about


          14       reliability?


          15           Take this as an example: in his paragraphs, in the


          16       robustness, the meaning of robustness in the Horizon


          17       issues judgment, at paragraph 36 and onwards, you will


          18       find his ultimate finding, and you will remember this,


          19       is that Horizon online was more robust than Legacy.


          20           If that is right, and that was Mr Justice Fraser's


          21       finding, does that mean it became more reliable to rely


          22       upon Horizon because it became more robust, rather than


          23       less robust?  I am not saying it didn't have problems,


          24       it did.


          25   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Mr Altman, just on the prior question,


                                            53





           1       when you say this is the criminal law and therefore it


           2       is not a question of constructive knowledge, but is that


           3       entirely right?  Nobody is putting the Post Office in


           4       the dock here and saying: you have committed a criminal


           5       offence.


           6   MR ALTMAN:  No.


           7   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Surely it is a looser concept, one of


           8       abuse.  So, is it so easy to say, "Well, you don't get


           9       to constructive knowledge because it is a big


          10       organisation and you cannot say who knew what"?


          11   MR ALTMAN:  My Lord, it is an issue of evidence.  As


          12       a matter of evidence, when one speaks in criminal law of


          13       "knowledge", then one is talking about knowledge that --


          14   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  What I am putting to you is that it is


          15       not the criminal law, and nobody is saying the


          16       Post Office is guilty of a particular criminal offence.


          17   MR ALTMAN:  No.


          18   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  We are asking the question, for the


          19       purposes of limb 2: is what has happened an abuse?


          20   MR ALTMAN:  Yes.


          21   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  So, it is not a question of saying,


          22       well, it is the (Inaudible) therefore constructive


          23       knowledge is not enough.  Surely it is a looser concept?


          24           The Post Office chooses to operate as a company,


          25       like many, many businesses around this country.  They


                                            54





           1       operate by way of company, and that is -- they avail


           2       themselves all the advantages.  In those circumstances,


           3       bearing in mind the question that we are considering,


           4       why is constructive knowledge not enough to look at the


           5       company?


           6   MR ALTMAN:  Because one is looking at the decision makers


           7       and their knowledge.  What I am saying is you cannot


           8       attribute other people's knowledge or even knowledge


           9       somewhere within the business of Post Office to the


          10       individuals making those decisions.  That is why.


          11   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  It's the Post Office that brought the


          12       prosecution.  The prosecution is the Post Office, the


          13       company.


          14   MR ALTMAN:  I agree, but it operates through human actors.


          15   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  But it prosecutes as the company.


          16   MR ALTMAN:  Of course it does.  I am not denying that.  But,


          17       at some point, if one asks the question: ought they to


          18       have known how the system worked?  I come back to the


          19       answer I gave, how much?  What in particular; its


          20       architecture; its technical abilities; its


          21       compatibilities; its reliabilities?


          22           I am not throwing problems in the way of the court,


          23       I am just answering as honestly as I can based on the


          24       sniping, to use my Lord Lord Justice Holroyde's comment


          25       earlier, coming from all parts of the bench.  But I am


                                            55





           1       more than happy to (Inaudible), so there is no


           2       misunderstanding.


           3           The point really is, and I entirely understand your


           4       Lordship's point that we do have a company who is


           5       prosecuting privately all of these postmasters, but if


           6       one is really drilling down into what went wrong here,


           7       and it did go wrong, we are actually looking at decision


           8       makers on the ground and what they understood and knew.


           9       That is from our perspective, the submission we are


          10       making, an important point to focus on.


          11   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Thank you, Mr Altman.


          12   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I am sorry to nag away, but just


          13       accepting for the moment everything you have just said,


          14       not wanting to engage with that, if we get down to the


          15       prosecution on the ground, the individual decision


          16       maker, the individual case, the specifics, is your


          17       submission that it is simply what did he or she know or


          18       can it include, additionally, an element of what ought


          19       he or she to have known?


          20   MR ALTMAN:  Certainly it includes the first.


          21   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.


          22   MR ALTMAN:  My submission is it can only include the latter


          23       if there is careful definition and common sense, if


          24       I may say so, definition of what that lawyer ought to


          25       have known.


                                            56





           1   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I understand.


           2   MR ALTMAN:  In other words, and this is where it comes back


           3       to reliance on Fujitsu in latter day cases, reliance on


           4       Gareth Jenkins, where the litigation became more about


           5       reliability of Horizon itself (Inaudible), and we know


           6       how that ended up.  So there are any number of layers


           7       here which do not make an answer to this simple at all.


           8   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you very much.


           9   MR ALTMAN:  In other words it is not one dimension, that is


          10       the submission we make.


          11           Now, against that background, and timing as it is,


          12       can I then present to the court how Mr Justice Fraser


          13       himself recognised that the Post Office was reliant on


          14       Fujitsu.  We have looked at one paragraph already in the


          15       Horizon issues judgment, but if we, please, begin -- it


          16       is A1, tab B, page 545.  Paragraph 459, this, you will


          17       remember, if we look to the left, you will see at 457,


          18       and that is a paragraph I have already taken the court


          19       to and we will see it is receipt and payments mismatch


          20       bug.  At 459 he says:


          21           "In my judgment, however, there are sufficient


          22       entries in the contemporaneous documents to demonstrate


          23       not only that Fujitsu has been less than forthcoming in


          24       identifying the problems which have been experienced


          25       over the years but rather the opposite.  A majority of


                                            57





           1       problems and defects which counsel put to Mr (Inaudible)


           2       [who was a Fujitsu witness], which were effectively


           3       admitted by him, simply would not have seen the light of


           4       day without this group litigation."


           5           Then, please, to page 597.  597, paragraph 652,


           6       point 1.  "It is important to identify ..."


           7           In actual fact it is 652:


           8           "It is important to identify so that the parties in


           9       this group litigation are aware the court's approach to


          10       disclosure."


          11           And he says why.  I think I may have got the wrong


          12       paragraph number.  It is my fault, it is 652/8, over the


          13       page at 598.


          14           "It is obvious that the Post Office has had to rely


          15       upon Fujitsu to a large degree.  However, given it was


          16       Fujitsu who told the Post Office what the known error


          17       log contained, Fujitsu has so far shown itself not to be


          18       entirely reliable in this respect.  Fujitsu are also


          19       responsible for the Post Office making a directly


          20       incorrect important statement in its EDQ ..."


          21           That is an Electronic Documents Question.


          22           "... about retention of KELs which led to the


          23       disclosure of about 5,000 of these some months after the


          24       trial closed."


          25   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Known Error Log, is KELs.


                                            58





           1   MR ALTMAN:  Yes.  Then at 698, paragraph 934 and then 935.


           2   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Page reference again, Mr Altman?


           3   MR ALTMAN:  698, paragraph 934.


           4   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you very much.


           5           Halfway through 934 you will find Fujitsu had powers


           6       which, until shortly before the trial started, Fujitsu


           7       sought to keep from the court and may not even be fully


           8       disclosed to the Post Office.  Because the extent of the


           9       new powers was kept secret in this way, the Post Office


          10       finds itself now having made misleading public


          11       statements previously.  That I think was about remote


          12       access.


          13           935, the next paragraph, seven or eight lines up


          14       from the bottom:


          15           "Fujitsu personnel routinely referred in such


          16       documents to the known existence of bugs.  Without this,


          17       so far as the documents deployed in the trial are


          18       concerned, being communicated to the sub-postmaster in


          19       question in these terms.  In places, there is even


          20       debate at Fujitsu shown in documents about whether the


          21       Post Office and/or sub-postmasters should be told.


          22       I don't see how a thorough professional and


          23       conscientious organisation could have produced the


          24       disclosure in this litigation, so many thousands KELs


          25       during 2019 itself, both during and even after the


                                            59





           1       trial.  I reject that description.  It is an inaccurate


           2       description of Fujitsu and/or its investigative


           3       motivation."


           4           So if one speaks about withering criticism, that was


           5       withering criticism of Fujitsu.


           6           Then, if I can simply remind the court of the


           7       passage I took the court to earlier this morning,


           8       page 705, you will remember the paragraph 960.


           9           Just to paraphrase, discussions within Fujitsu as to


          10       whether the Post Office should be told certain


          11       detrimental information about the Horizon system, and


          12       four lines, five lines up from the bottom, the


          13       experience of (Inaudible) of the Post Office must have


          14       been reliant on Fujitsu to a certain degree in terms of


          15       being provided with accurate information of a technical


          16       nature.


          17           Finally, insofar as the Horizon issues judgment is


          18       concerned, page 712, 712, paragraph 995, three lines


          19       down:


          20           "I also consider that although the Post Office did


          21       have access to 'the causes of various shortfalls in the


          22       branches, including whether they were caused by bugs,


          23       errors and/or defects in the Horizon system', this had


          24       to be obtained through Fujitsu.  This should be recorded


          25       for completeness.  The evidence does not show the


                                            60





           1       Post Office IT department either being capable of


           2       investigating directly itself or, if it was capable of


           3       doing so, actually undertaking it.  All investigations


           4       recorded in peaks and KELs show that Fujitsu did this.


           5       The terms for the experts' agreement in this respect was


           6       that the Post Office was 'reliant on Fujitsu for


           7       diagnosis of whether the occurrence of shortfalls was


           8       caused by bugs, errors or defects within the Horizon


           9       system'.  I find that the Post Office plainly was


          10       reliant upon Fujitsu in this way."


          11           Finally, in terms of this list, can I simply remind


          12       the court, and I will provide the reference, in annex 2


          13       to the CCRC statement of grievance, there is the


          14       transcript of the hand down of his judgment in the


          15       Horizons issues trial on 16 December 2018.  You will


          16       find it at bundle A, tab 1D at page 839 and 843(b),


          17       where Mr Justice Fraser said he had "very grave concerns


          18       about the veracity of evidence given by Fujitsu


          19       employees to other courts in previous proceedings."


          20           Hence his referral in his letter of 14 January 2020


          21       to the EPD(?).


          22           Can I come back to something which was touched upon


          23       yesterday, please, and it may be remembered that, in


          24       paragraph 17 of her speaking note, Ms Busch suggests


          25       that there is ample evidence that the Post Office or


                                            61





           1       Fujitsu knew of the presence of bugs, errors or defects


           2       from the outset.  I dealt with one aspect of this


           3       yesterday afternoon, dealing with the 1999 acceptance


           4       interviews.


           5           She relies on her proposed, but not agreed, facts


           6       concerning bugs, but insofar as it suggests who knew,


           7       you may remember attached to her suggestion of agreed


           8       facts were three appendices, one of which set out


           9       a whole list of the peaks and KELs and the like.  We


          10       suggest there is a problem with such an approach.


          11           First, the assertion in the table that Post Office


          12       knew or Fujitsu knew doesn't begin to engage with who at


          13       Post Office knew, how that person knew, or indeed what


          14       they actually knew.  A good illustration of the dangers


          15       of that approach can be found by looking at the first


          16       entry on her table where it is suggested that the


          17       Post Office had knowledge, and after the test phase --


          18       just a peak my Lady, Mrs Justice Farbey referred to


          19       yesterday the one of 7 July 2000, which is referred to


          20       by Ms Busch.  Perhaps we can take it as -- it is not


          21       an easy read, as my Lady pointed out yesterday -- but it


          22       is to be found in tab 41 of bundle C.


          23           Tab 41, page 471 and it is PC0049629, and by the


          24       first hole-punch, if one squints a bit, one can just


          25       make out that it advises that this was all the work that


                                            62





           1       was done when an engineer was arranging the (Inaudible).


           2       This was done, it looks like on the 29th, "He arrived at


           3       2.00", pm and then there is some acronym.  Another


           4       engineer came at 4.00 pm to do more work and then, below


           5       the next date and time is this on 24 July at possibly


           6       15.01:


           7           "Information: insufficient info.  Please provide


           8       (Inaudible) figures for how much the APs are out [APs


           9       are automatic payments] by, as well as the figures which


          10       show the discrepancy for the rem(?) and if possible the


          11       username of the person who was involved in (Inaudible)


          12       through these transactions and the .. "


          13           It is difficult to say, (Inaudible):


          14           "Please if you can get the rough times on and/or


          15       passed to HSW for more info."


          16           HSH, Horizon (Inaudible).


          17           If we could turn on, please, to the final page of


          18       this document, 474, it is the third entry up from the


          19       bottom, dated 17 August 2000 at 12.52.  This instance


          20       has been explained to you -- I think that says


          21       Post Office Counters Limited, via BIM, which is


          22       (Inaudible) system, Business Instant Management report.


          23       18 July 2000:


          24           "After discussing this with Jack MacKay live trial


          25       teams, TP [I think it says] have been able to confirm


                                            63





           1       with PM [postmaster] that there are no further missing


           2       APSTXMs [automatic payment system transactions].  All


           3       transaction data has been provided in an earlier


           4       spreadsheet."


           5           The next line:


           6           "As such, please close this call as all transactions


           7       have been reported to Post Office Counters Limited."


           8   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Who or what is TP?


           9   MR ALTMAN:  I think it is transaction payments or process,


          10       something along those lines.


          11           The point is that this peak, and the peak is not


          12       something the Post Office would necessarily have


          13       knowledge of in terms of its content, but this peak


          14       doesn't deal with the bug.  It deals with data loss when


          15       hardware at base unit was replaced.  Secondly, if one


          16       looks at what Post Office actually knew, then the entry


          17       I have just read out suggests that what Post Office was


          18       actually told is that the situation was resolved and


          19       (Inaudible) missing APSTXMs and further missing data.


          20           So just taking just one peak as an example, that,


          21       even if it was known, is not going to put anyone in the


          22       Post Office on notice of an issue about Horizon


          23       unreliability in terms of software.  This was a simple


          24       hardware issue which was resolved in a matter of days


          25       and the importance and why I bring it to the attention


                                            64





           1       of the court is it illustrates the danger of the


           2       broadbrush approach in submissions and the failure to


           3       address in detail who knew what and how.


           4           Peaks are technical documents and Mr Justice Fraser


           5       was assisted in understanding them by hearing evidence


           6       from two experts, Warren and Coin(?).  No appellant --


           7       I am not complaining about this but it is a fact -- no


           8       appellant is calling evidence to assist this court in


           9       identifying what matters can properly be extrapolated


          10       from any of the peaks which the court can find in


          11       abundance.  For example, a peak may describe a symptom


          12       of a discrepancy or a mismatch.  That is not to say it


          13       was caused by a bug, error or defect.  A peak may well


          14       be a term for example of where the cause was, among many


          15       other possible causes, user (Inaudible).


          16           As such, and this is the submission I make now, we


          17       would invite caution before placing reliance upon the


          18       mere fact that in your bundles there are peaks such as


          19       this, beyond those set out in the Horizon issues


          20       judgment, and Mr Justice Fraser did have all of the


          21       assistance of experts to make proper findings.


          22   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Put simply, you say peaks like this you


          23       would expect in a system like this, both before testing


          24       and then in operation?


          25   MR ALTMAN:  No system -- and you will know that Horizon was


                                            65





           1       a prime example of this -- but no system was ever going


           2       to be bug free.  They will have glitches, they will have


           3       outages, they will have power failures and all the rest


           4       that goes with it.  This case is about disclosure, not


           5       about a bug free system.


           6           Can I please touch again very briefly on the issue


           7       of Gareth Jenkins.  I have made clear certain comments


           8       about the Clark advice.  The other thing that is


           9       important to note, and I don't think I actually got


          10       round to saying it yet, is that what it led to -- and


          11       when I say the Clark advice, I mean the one we are


          12       probably more familiar with, the one of 15 July 2013 --


          13       it led to what was called the Sixth(?) review.  So it


          14       led to a post conviction disclosure exercise in which


          15       the Second Sight interim report was to be disclosed in


          16       cases which Cartwright King deemed to be appropriate,


          17       and what is known as the Helen Rose report, which was


          18       a report from June 2013, because it indicated within its


          19       content that Gareth Jenkins had some knowledge about


          20       that particular issue which dealt with the (Inaudible).


          21           Yesterday, I informed the court about the fact that


          22       Gareth Jenkins, it is believed, gave oral evidence only


          23       once.  That case was in the case of Mrs Misra.  He gave


          24       evidence on 14 October 2010.  He was cross-examined.  In


          25       the cases before the court, the only other two cases in


                                            66





           1       which he provided witness statements but did not give


           2       evidence are the cases of Hughie Thomas and Khayyam


           3       Ishaq.  We know of eight other individuals not before


           4       the court in whose cases he also provided statements.


           5           We don't wish -- and I make clear I am not seeking


           6       to prejudge the ongoing police investigation -- but it


           7       is clear that not only did Post Office place reliance on


           8       Fujitsu, it also placed, we suggest until it was


           9       discovered otherwise, reasonable reliance on


          10       Gareth Jenkins and indeed the other Fujitsu witnesses --


          11       he was not the only one -- who spoke to the integrity of


          12       the system.  When I say Post Office, I mean not just


          13       Royal Mail before 2012 and not just Post Office after


          14       2012, and their in-house lawyers, but also


          15       Cartwright King, other solicitor agents who prosecuted


          16       on behalf of Post Office and not forgetting independent


          17       counsel.


          18           Now, my Lord, I was going to move on to deal with


          19       certain aspects of Mr Stein's arguments.  It is slightly


          20       early -- if your Lordship wants me to carry on, I will


          21       carry on now?


          22   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Make a start, if you would, please.


          23   MR ALTMAN:  Absolutely.


          24           The skeleton argument on behalf of Mr Darlington and


          25       the four other appellants that Mr Stein represents, and


                                            67





           1       it is to be found in bundle G, tab 19, at page 303.


           2   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you.


           3   MR ALTMAN:  At page 311, paragraph 39 and onwards, there is


           4       that heading "Cumulative effect of the Post Office's


           5       behaviour".  Paragraph 39, Mr Stein states that "the


           6       behaviour of the Post Office must be seen in the round."


           7       That is, the court will be aware, the comment that the


           8       CCRC itself uses, "Looking at all of these cases in the


           9       round ..."


          10           Mr Stein goes on to say that the possible suggestion


          11       that the actions of the Post Office should be considered


          12       case by case is "unsupportable in common sense":


          13           "Since the inception of Horizon in 1999 and the


          14       decisions made as regards these appeals, all disclosure


          15       decisions were motivated by the same decision-making


          16       process, which was to protect at all costs the


          17       Post Office to the detriment of all and any


          18       sub-postmaster."


          19           If one can just stand back for a moment from that


          20       submission in this skeleton argument, without any


          21       evidence to support a sweeping statement such as that,


          22       that every single decision on disclosure across the


          23       board was motived by the same decision-making process


          24       which was to protect at all costs the Post Office to the


          25       detriment of all and any sub-postmaster, yes, I accept


                                            68





           1       and pointed them out -- there were on occasion


           2       unacceptable representations of protecting Horizon and


           3       they have been reflected where it was appropriate to do


           4       so, and there are other examples in cases not before the


           5       court, and I accept that.  But to make a statement of


           6       this nature, that every single disclosure decision was


           7       tainted in the way Mr Stein submits, without evidence to


           8       back it, is not, with respect, a representation this


           9       court should act upon.


          10           He goes on, and I am skating over paragraph 40 to


          11       41:


          12           "The concept of bad character should also be


          13       considered.  The failure of disclosure across so many


          14       cases of which more are coming forward is not


          15       an accident.  The Post Office serially failed in their


          16       duties of disclosure and thereafter continued to


          17       maintain up to and throughout the High Court proceedings


          18       that it was the sub-postmasters who were to blame.  This


          19       reprehensible behaviour underlines the point that the


          20       Post Office and its witnesses at the High Court [at the


          21       High Court] were only concerned with reputational


          22       protection and not concerned with the damage and the


          23       betrayal of trust to the sub-postmasters.  The behaviour


          24       statements and actions recorded in documents throughout


          25       the time of the creation of the Horizon system, for


                                            69





           1       20 years, all go to the following points: (1) state of


           2       mind; (2) evidence of system; (3) bad character and


           3       corporate malfeasance."


           4           State of mind?  Whose state of mind?  How was it


           5       evidenced?  State of mind in relation to what?  Evidence


           6       of a system, not supported by detailed argument or


           7       documentary record even on its own terms.  Reference,


           8       I agree, to the High Court judgments.  What about these


           9       cases that we are dealing with?  Added to this, the


          10       seriousness -- and it is serious -- non-specific charge


          11       of bad character and corporate malfeasance without


          12       saying what is meant and who it applies to, and why.


          13           At page 313, over the page, paragraph 43, the acts


          14       of Post Office personnel and representatives, post the


          15       incident -- and this is something I mentioned yesterday


          16       and the reason why I took the court to that passage in


          17       Tague about post-incident conduct, and it is not


          18       possibly being within the jurisdiction of abuse of


          19       process this court has to deal with:


          20           "The acts of Post Office personnel and


          21       representatives post-incident assist the court in


          22       understanding the motive of those who are under


          23       examination."


          24           Who is under examination?


          25           "Indeed, further evidence of a continuing system, in


                                            70





           1       this case a system which prevents disclosure of evidence


           2       of bugs and errors in Horizon."


           3           My Lords, my Lady, we say that kind of submission


           4       (a) does not help the court and (b) is so sweeping and


           5       so broad and so nonsensical as to be totally unhelpful


           6       and indeed unfair.  It cannot be dealt with.  It cannot


           7       be confronted.  We therefore suggest, with respect, that


           8       the court should not act upon such submissions.


           9   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Thank you, Mr Altman.


          10           Is that a convenient point to break?


          11   MR ALTMAN:  Yes, thank you.


          12   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Could I raise one matter with you,


          13       not asking for an answer now, but perhaps before the end


          14       of your submissions.  You mentioned in your submissions


          15       earlier this morning a point about not everyone who is


          16       before the court having been a sub-postmaster or


          17       sub-postmistresses, and you mentioned that specifically


          18       in relation to which contract may have governed the


          19       terms and conditions of (Inaudible).


          20           Subject to the contract point, is there any material


          21       distinction in any of these cases based on the


          22       particular employment status of a particular


          23       (Inaudible)?


          24   MR ALTMAN:  Subject to the contract, my Lord, no.


          25   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.  Good, very helpful indeed.


                                            71





           1       Thank you.


           2           Right, we will sit again at 2.00, please.


           3   (1.01 pm)


           4                    (The Luncheon Adjournment)


           5   (2.00 pm)


           6   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes, Mr Altman.


           7   MR ALTMAN:  Can I invite the court, please to bundle A,


           8       tab 51, so if your bundles are (Inaudible), the last


           9       (Inaudible).


          10   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Tab 41?


          11   MR ALTMAN:  51, my Lord.


          12   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  51.  Yes.


          13   MR ALTMAN:  Mr Moloney's skeleton argument on behalf of the


          14       appellants he represents.  May I invite attention to


          15       page 1896, which is paragraph 3(g).  Among the points


          16       there made is the enduring nature of the conduct by


          17       which the 26 cases have been conceded on the basis of on


          18       the basis of ground 1, argues Mr Moloney, is a palpable


          19       factor; in the situation before the court it is a very


          20       (Inaudible).  It doesn't represent a single incident of


          21       finding balanced law enforcement, for example.


          22           Then two pages on, at 1898, where Mr Moloney deals


          23       with the concessions, at 4(d), on page 1898:


          24           "Moreover it is submitted that the facts which have


          25       founded the grounds and concessions should not be


                                            72





           1       treated as representing the worst of the respondent's


           2       conduct in the context of whether the grounds were made


           3       out in relation to the other appellants."


           4           It is, may I observe, understandable that Mr Moloney


           5       highlights what he calls the enduring nature of the


           6       conduct, and the fact of the respondent's concessions on


           7       limb 1 of the process.  We submit it would be


           8       problematic and not in the interests of justice to


           9       equate those concessions with an enduring globally


          10       applicable limb 2 of the process.


          11           The concessions, as the court would expect, were


          12       arrived at following extensive and careful consideration


          13       of the facts in the cases in which they were made.


          14       Indeed it is for that very reason that while concessions


          15       were linked to limb 1 abuse of process in all but three


          16       cases on the facts, concessions on limb 2 have been made


          17       case specifically only in four, which happen to be


          18       Mr Moloney's clients.


          19           While these failings endured, in the sense that they


          20       lasted a great deal of time, if, given its reliance on


          21       Fujitsu, as I are said before, Post Office reasonably


          22       assumed Horizon was robust, whether and, if so, when it


          23       was no longer reasonable to assume so, it was not


          24       capable of simple identification without


          25       an investigation of and potentially evidence from,


                                            73





           1       a number of people from different parts of the


           2       Post Office's business, as well as Fujitsu.  We do not


           3       suggest, I make it clear, that should happen, but we


           4       suggest that is the position.


           5           It is submitted that the inherent danger of adopting


           6       the global approach on these cases mean that without


           7       case fact sensitive analysis, with relevant factors of


           8       balance for the court to exercise its judgment and its


           9       discretion, unfairness and indeed injustice could


          10       result.


          11           What does the balance include?


          12           It includes, we suggest, factors such as the time


          13       period in which the alleged offence or offences took


          14       place.  The nature of the offence, its frequency and


          15       duration, the version of Horizon involved.  As I said


          16       a little earlier, one version being less robust than the


          17       other, in the way that Mr Justice Fraser defined it in


          18       the Horizon judgment, at paragraphs 36 and onwards.


          19           The individual facts underlying the alleged offence


          20       or offences.  Was there a confession to wrongdoing


          21       before any previous (Inaudible)?  And the direct and


          22       indirect impact of the failures of the investigation and


          23       disclosure on the case.


          24           All, we suggest -- and these are not proscriptive or


          25       exclusive, but all are relevant factors to go into the


                                            74





           1       balance.


           2           Again, the referred cases range from 2001 to 2013.


           3       What may appear to be a tenable argument for limb 2 in


           4       a case in, say, 2010 or after, based on the information


           5       then available to individuals within the security and


           6       prosecution teams, may not be such a tenable argument


           7       for a case that was prosecuted nine years before, in


           8       2001.


           9           Thus the individual cases we emphasise are not


          10       simply fact sensitive; they are also time sensitive.  We


          11       submit that reliance on Horizon of itself was not unfair


          12       and it doesn't mean that the respondent should no longer


          13       be prosecuted because the combined failures of


          14       investigation and disclosure that render the convictions


          15       for limb 1 abuse of process, where the prosecution and


          16       conviction were dependent on the reliability of Horizon


          17       data.


          18           Also, we submit, and we don't complain about,


          19       reliance on a disparate array of documentation taken


          20       from the post-convictions disclosure exercise does not


          21       provide any safe picture on which to find the presence


          22       of limb 2 abuse in every case prosecuted by the


          23       Post Office between 2001 and 2013.


          24           The difficulty is that even where a document is


          25       relied on, which presents an adverse picture of the


                                            75





           1       individual who wrote it, that doesn't mean that every


           2       other prosecution (Inaudible) and opinion by others


           3       within the organisation over the years, as I said


           4       a little earlier, subscribe to the same view.


           5           If it is the one and only example of such conduct,


           6       then it is difficult to see how it can be applied to


           7       everyone and even more difficult to see how it can be


           8       applied to events before the document was ever written.


           9           May we take just a few examples, documentary


          10       examples, to highlight the issues?  The court might have


          11       in mind why caution is needed before reliance is placed


          12       upon them.


          13           At paragraph 9(a) of Mr Moloney's document, at


          14       page 1901, which you had open at tab 41, you will find


          15       there reference to something Mr Moloney made some


          16       submissions about yesterday because of our particular


          17       response to it.  An expressed preference of Post Office


          18       to pursue criminal charges which would more easily


          19       achieve a confiscation order:


          20           "This was consistent with asset recovery being the


          21       dominant factor in decision making."


          22           Let's look at the memo itself, because I don't think


          23       the court has seen it.  It is in the first volume of


          24       bundle C, behind the first tab, at page 1.  It is dated


          25       8 February 2006.  You will see that the defendant is


                                            76





           1       cited, at page A/322, it is not the number of the


           2       appellant.  The above named appeared at a Magistrates'


           3       Court on 23 January:


           4           "John Glove(?) of our agents attended.  Counsel


           5       appeared for defendant.  The defendant has offered


           6       an original basis of plea indicating that he is prepared


           7       to plead guilty to five of the seven accounts, namely


           8       the false accounting charges.  Also willing to pay the


           9       outstanding sum by monthly instalments of £2,000 per


          10       year."


          11           Skating over the next paragraph:


          12           "The pleas in effect opened the question as to


          13       whether or not we wish to proceed with these specific


          14       proceeds of crime offences, in particular charge 4


          15       brought under section 328, in other words ...(Reading to


          16       the words)...  The advantage of this offence is that it


          17       automatically brings the defendant into the recognition


          18       of criminal lifestyle under section 75(2) of the Act.


          19       If the pleas of false accounting were accepted, then


          20       they would need to make applications for the defendants


          21       and submit to the Crown Court under section 70 of the


          22       Proceeds of Crime Act ..."


          23           Et cetera, et cetera.  Over the page:


          24           "There are more hurdles to jump through than under


          25       the section 328 offence."


                                            77





           1           Now, set against the submission which is made in


           2       Mr Moloney's document, one may have thought that what


           3       was being said there was improper.


           4           In fact, this defendant was not only charged with


           5       five offences of false accounting, but also two offences


           6       under the Proceeds of Crime Act.  Ms McFarlane, the


           7       lawyer who is the author of this document, raised the


           8       issue, as you can see.  The issue was one of


           9       acceptability of the plea, not about whether the


          10       individual should be charged or improperly looking only


          11       at the asset recovery outcome as influencing the


          12       decision whether to charge or not.


          13           At the time of the memorandum in 2006, it was the


          14       fifth edition of the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the


          15       2004 edition, which was in force, accepting guilty pleas


          16       which is dealt with at section 10 of the code.


          17           Section 10.5 of the code provided:


          18           "When guilty pleas are offered, Crown prosecutors


          19       must bear in mind the fact that ...(Reading to the


          20       words)... offers can be made with some offences, but not


          21       with others."


          22           Perhaps I don't need to remind your Lordship,


          23       my Lord, Lord Holroyde, about the case of Condon(?) and


          24       what you had to say in that court and in that judgment.


          25       You made plain the distinction must be drawn -- this is


                                            78





           1       in bundle B, at tab 29.  We need not look at it --


           2       between the legitimate consideration in confiscation


           3       proceedings and prosecution being improperly motivated


           4       by the prospect of financial gain:


           5           " ... falls within the former category.  It is


           6       implicit in the 2004 code, by reference to ancillary


           7       orders, that it was appropriate, indeed mandatory, for


           8       a prosecutor to have regard to the court's ability to


           9       make a confiscation order when deciding whether to


          10       accept pleas."


          11           Section 5.9(b) of the same code also made explicit


          12       reference to confiscation as a relevant factor to the


          13       assessment of whether a prosecution was in the public


          14       interest as part of the (Inaudible) test.


          15           So, quite simply, what we say is a criticism based


          16       on this document is, with respect to Mr Moloney,


          17       completely misplaced.  She was talking about the


          18       acceptability of pleas being offered vis-a-vis the


          19       possibility of confiscation.  It was about the


          20       acceptability of the plea, not about the charging


          21       decision.


          22           Another example, returning to Mr Moloney's document


          23       at 1902, behind tab --


          24   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Mr Altman, sorry, just the last


          25       paragraph of this memo, do you place reliance on that as


                                            79





           1       demonstrating that -- I think it is saying that even


           2       going on the basis of plea, in other words the plea of


           3       guilty to five of the seven, there is still an ability


           4       to proceed under the Proceeds of Crime Act by taking the


           5       case to the Crown Court?


           6   MR ALTMAN:  Yes, she was weighing up the difficulties and


           7       what any prosecutor would do.


           8           I mean, I would suggest that if one saw this with


           9       the CPS logo at the top of the letter, one would not bat


          10       an eyelid.


          11   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  The short point is, even acceptance of


          12       guilty pleas for 5 of the 7, without the Proceeds of


          13       Crime Act offences, would still enable there to be


          14       a recovery of proceeds.


          15   MR ALTMAN:  Yes, it's just a different process.  Yes.


          16   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Thank you.


          17   MR ALTMAN:  Paragraph 9(e) of Mr Moloney's document, at


          18       1902, behind the tab (Inaudible), we come back to --


          19       I think I mistakenly referred to this document as


          20       Mr Moloney referring to it yesterday, when in fact it is


          21       the document I am coming to, where he says, at


          22       subparagraph (e):


          23           "There was reference within the disclosure to


          24       the prosecution being or not being closing the 'business


          25       interest' of the Post Office.  There is no apparent


                                            80





           1       lawful basis on which the respondent could have decided


           2       to prosecute individuals based upon their own business


           3       interests."


           4           The document is to be found at page 49 of the same


           5       volume at bundle C, tab 6.  We find, at page 49,


           6       an email from Jarnail Singh, who was the Post Office


           7       in-house lawyer.  It is sent on 10 December 2012 to


           8       Martin Smith, Martin Smith was a solicitor at


           9       Cartwright King, and copied to Sharon Jennings(?), who,


          10       if my memory serves me, I think was in-house


          11       Post Office, but I may be wrong.


          12           You will see the subject is ciphers B038, not one of


          13       the appellants before the court.  Martin -- John Scott


          14       was the decision maker, concur with counsel, Will


          15       Martin's advice that it is not in the (Inaudible)


          16       interest or public interest to proceed with the


          17       prosecution of ...


          18           "Martin could you write to the defence and the court


          19       of the business decision and have the case listed for


          20       a short hearing where prosecution counsel should be


          21       instructed.  But this agreed action must say to the


          22       defence in court is not connected with the Horizon


          23       system integrity and rather simply reflects the


          24       defendant's health and associated issues."


          25           The document is relied upon not for the final


                                            81





           1       (Inaudible) and what the email says, although


           2       I recognise that should never have been suggested.  But


           3       it is in relation to what was originally granted as


           4       a business interest decision.  Whereas the document


           5       itself shows that it was Mr Singh suggesting it was not


           6       in the interests of the business, in other words


           7       Post Office, or the public interest to proceed.


           8           We have made clear before you that this, we submit,


           9       was not about a commercial decision whether or not to


          10       prosecute.  The business of the Post Office was not to


          11       prosecute, but rather, as we know, to operate branches


          12       and offer the range of services it did.  Post Office


          13       prosecutions were a facet of that business.  Its


          14       prosecution decisions were made under the Crown


          15       Prosecution Code for Crown Prosecutors.  It was proper


          16       under the full code test to take the business'


          17       interests, that is Post Office's interests, into account


          18       as part of the public interest considerations in the


          19       second stage of the test, as is evident in that


          20       document.


          21           To extrapolate from it, or indeed from any similar


          22       document, that prosecutorial decisions were motived by


          23       financial interests or were at the heart, as was said,


          24       of its decision making is just not justified.  Indeed,


          25       if that allegation were right, the court would expect to


                                            82





           1       have been invited to consider more than just this one


           2       document, or an extract, as happened yesterday, from


           3       some board minutes from 2012, which albeit triumphal,


           4       you will remember, about winning more Horizon cases is


           5       nothing to do with financial interests.


           6           A third and final sample document I invite the


           7       court --


           8   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Mr Altman, I am so sorry, again.  If


           9       this was a CPS document rather than a Post Office


          10       document, it wouldn't say, would it, "it is not in the


          11       CPS interest" or public interest; it would just say


          12       public interest?


          13   MR ALTMAN:  But because this a private prosecution, the


          14       private prosecutor was fully entitled to have his own


          15       interest taken into account.


          16           Where it becomes problematic is if that decision


          17       making is based on improper or collateral motives.  What


          18       I am saying is this document is not evidence of Mr Singh


          19       taking account (Inaudible).


          20   MR JUSTICE PICKEN:  Thank you.


          21   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Really your submission, Mr Altman,


          22       is in the first line.  It should be read as:


          23           "Not in the interest of the complainant or in the


          24       public interest."


          25   MR ALTMAN:  Absolutely.  As your Lordship will be well


                                            83





           1       aware, and as the court will be well aware, the


           2       (Inaudible) itself is obliged to take account of the


           3       victim's interests.


           4           The final (Inaudible) in the series, just a soupcon


           5       perhaps of what there is, is one that's referred to by


           6       Mr Moloney, paragraph 68(i) of the speaking note which


           7       you were handed yesterday.  Perhaps the easiest thing is


           8       simply to take you to a document so you can see


           9       reasonably what it is.  It is divider 13 in bundle C, at


          10       page 106.


          11           What Mr Moloney said yesterday about this


          12       document -- which I will come to in a second -- is --


          13       and you will remember the phraseology:


          14           "On many, many occasions an attitude of resistance


          15       to such investigation was evidenced, they conclude ..."


          16           Here is the reference to this document:


          17           "A suggestion to a defendant's solicitor that the


          18       service of ARQ data and records of phone calls to the


          19       help desk where Horizon's integrity was (Inaudible)


          20       'expensive', and that provision of it might be


          21       'a complete waste of time and money', because other


          22       sub-postmasters in the past have pleaded guilty,


          23       pointing out that 'the provision of data by Fujitsu is


          24       not good service'.  The letter states that the


          25       Post Office will only pay for provisional updates of


                                            84





           1       which they consider to be relevant."


           2             The letter is dated 14 August 2009, the individual


           3       is ciphered here as A028.  I am sure Ms Busch will not


           4       mind if I say that A028 was Seema Misra.  This was the


           5       letter which went to her first solicitors, The Castle


           6       Partnership, and it is right that I should go through


           7       it.


           8           "I understand [says the author] ... in the criminal


           9       law division from the prosecuting counsel on the last


          10       occasion ...(Reading to the words)... and the


          11       Post Office has purchased this system from Fujitsu in


          12       the same way that any other company would purchase goods


          13       or services for its business.  Other than that Fujitsu


          14       is not in any way an associated company of the Post


          15       Office.  The request -- and I think this was a request,


          16       I think I am right in saying, for about two and a half


          17       years' worth of ARQ data -- has been put to Fujitsu and


          18       replied to and received by the person who liaises with


          19       this company.  The data will take some six to eight


          20       weeks to produce.  Additionally, your client made 107


          21       calls to the Horizon help desk during her period of


          22       tenure, which is placing roughly two to three calls


          23       a month.  In order to provide the data, Fujitsu will


          24       wish to know exactly what is required and for exactly


          25       what period."


                                            85





           1           Pausing there, this is not an outright refusal, it


           2       is initially a request to find out what data is actually


           3       required:


           4           "Please could you also advise as to why you consider


           5       the data relevant?  You already have the notice of


           6       additional evidence ...(Reading to the words)... Fujitsu


           7       dealing with calls to the helpline."


           8           Then this:


           9           "The retrieval of data by Fujitsu is not a free


          10       service.  It is very expensive and depends upon the


          11       amount of data which has to be retrieved, which is why


          12       you are requested to be very precise.  At that stage


          13       a firm quotation can be obtained and counsel will be


          14       asked to give further advice as to disclosure on payment


          15       for the service.  The Post Office went on to ...(Reading


          16       to the words)... that counsel considers the data


          17       irrelevant.  You will of course be aware that the same


          18       system operates around the country.  It is not


          19       applicable to all kinds of sub-Post Office.  I have set


          20       out the matter above quite clearly because in the past


          21       many thousands of pounds have been spent on obtaining


          22       this type of data subsequent to which a late plea of


          23       guilty is tendered, which means the exercise has been


          24       a complete waste of time and money."


          25           So, those were the circumstances in which that was


                                            86





           1       said, and in view of the timescale these letters would


           2       now fall to apply.


           3           If I can simply ask the court to go back into tab 12


           4       in the same bundle, page 103, this is the second


           5       document that Mr Moloney refers to under


           6       paragraph 68(ii).  It is an email of 4 August, so


           7       10 days before the letter we were just looking at


           8       regarding the same case, Mrs Misra's case, from


           9       Dave Posner(?) (Inaudible) manager of the post office,


          10       to Jon Longman, Post Office Investigator:


          11           "Due to the size of the request, I can't authorise


          12       Fujitsu to proceed at this stage.  It equates to


          13       approximately 31 ...(Reading to the words)... we do


          14       assist where we can and where requests are reasonable in


          15       terms of our quota ... other parts of the business,


          16       small potential requests, for a number of potential


          17       requests ..."


          18           This is the part quoted in Mr Moloney's speaking


          19       note:


          20           "... we can take a quote from Fujitsu for the work,


          21       which will then sit outside our quota.  The defence can


          22       then (1) pay up, (2) seek Legal Aid and pay up


          23       ...(Reading to the words)... many cases plead guilty at


          24       the 11th hour and/or ... by experts and challenged ...


          25       the data ..."


                                            87





           1           I'm not suggesting that at all, but the fact remains


           2       again -- and really this is just a cautionary


           3       submission -- that this is not a document to refuse the


           4       defence ARQ data, but rather a requirement in which


           5       (Inaudible) but the defence solicitor relied in greater


           6       specificity as to what data was requested and why, and


           7       indeed the matter was requested by the trial judge on


           8       a section 8 application, who agreed with prosecuting


           9       counsel, not that the updates should not be disclosed,


          10       but the ambit was far too wide.  Importantly, some ARQ


          11       data was indeed provided to the defence.  So, again, one


          12       simply submits that a little care has to be taken about


          13       how these documents were interpreted.


          14   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  I don't understand that, Mr Altman.


          15       The first couple of paragraphs mean --


          16   MR ALTMAN:  Of?


          17   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Of this email.  If I have understood


          18       it correctly, the Post Office has chosen to enter into


          19       contractual terms with Fujitsu which impose a modest


          20       limit on the number of ARQs they can request, and that


          21       is an inhibition on disclosing material to the


          22       prosecution, which makes it necessary to consider


          23       everything on a case by case basis.


          24           Is that a fair picture?


          25   MR ALTMAN:  It is certainly not an unfair picture.  The


                                            88





           1       Post Office, yes, the contract was in Fujitsu's favour


           2       in that regard, and the Post Office did have quotas,


           3       otherwise it cost a lot of money to get the ARQ data.


           4       But it doesn't mean at that say the Post Office didn't


           5       obtain the data, they did, but it was simply


           6       a recognition that there were other deserving cases.


           7       So, my understanding of the thrust of this email is that


           8       the quota system was a limitation and, in other words,


           9       it had to be dealt with fairly.


          10           In other words, rightly or wrongly, a request for


          11       two and a half years' worth of ARQ data was not


          12       reasonable.  To have ARQ data was reasonable and there


          13       was ARQ data served on the case of Mrs Misra but not two


          14       and a half years' worth.  That is the difference.


          15   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  The two and a half years was


          16       the period caught by the terms(?), wasn't it?


          17   MR ALTMAN:  I agree it was.


          18   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  And the period during which


          19       information requests for (Inaudible)?


          20   MR ALTMAN:  Yes, but we don't know what those requests are


          21       and they don't necessarily tell us that they were all in


          22       relation to shortfalls in her balance(?) accounts.


          23   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Of course not, no.  Of course.


          24   MRS JUSTICE FARBEY:  Could I ask a question about comparing


          25       page 103, which we were just looking at, with 107, which


                                            89





           1       we just looked at.


           2           On 103, it is signed by Dave Posner, (Inaudible)


           3       manager, it looks like on 4 August 2009, and then we


           4       have, at 106, 107, signed by Phil Sayer(?), from the


           5       criminal law division, from 14 August 2009, both of them


           6       seem to me -- do correct me if I have misunderstood --


           7       that the backdrop in Post Office's mind that if someone


           8       pleaded guilty at the 11th hour, the, hey, the whole


           9       disclosure process has been a bit of a waste of time.


          10       Is that a fact that operated on the mind of the


          11       Post Office?


          12   MR ALTMAN:  I can't say because I am not in the mind of the


          13       individuals who wrote these things.  You may be able to


          14       draw an inference but from my submission: what is


          15       actually been said is that there is a financial limit


          16       and a quota on these things, and in cases where, at that


          17       stage, people pleaded guilty having asked for ARQ data,


          18       which costs money, then all that is being suggested is,


          19       superficially at least, it looked like the money was


          20       wasted.  But one can read into that what my Lady


          21       suggests.


          22           But it is a harsh judgment to suggest that it was


          23       simply (Inaudible) reference the way Mr Moloney put it


          24       in his skeleton argument was merely a waste of time and


          25       money.  All that was being said is where people plead


                                            90





           1       guilty at the last minute, that is the appearance of


           2       what is happening in terms of this disclosure.


           3           As Ms Johnson reminds me, it also depends on whether


           4       the individual may have voluntarily confessed to false


           5       accounting, for example, or to taking money from the


           6       till for whatever reason.  There will be a number of


           7       factors that would go to this.  Although the email was


           8       perhaps not felicitously worded, it is an internal


           9       email, it doesn't necessarily suggest that the


          10       disclosure process, insofar as ARQ data was concerned,


          11       was itself at fault.


          12           So, what we submit is that, in terms of these


          13       documents, care has to be taken before reading into them


          14       more than they in fact reveal.  Before concluding that


          15       they apply across the board to every prosecution


          16       thereafter, as I say, or even before they were created.


          17           Many documents upon which reliance is placed


          18       originate from cases which are not before the court, or


          19       they are generic in nature.  The only documents, as


          20       I have understood it, which Mr Moloney referred to in


          21       his original grounds of appeal on behalf of all of the


          22       clients he represents, and indeed his first skeleton


          23       argument on intuition, there was something like 26


          24       documents, six of which related to the Seema Misra case


          25       and one of which related to Jacqueline McDonald, who is


                                            91





           1       one of Mr Moloney's clients.  As far as I was able to


           2       judge, none of the others case specifically referred to


           3       any of his clients.


           4           Can I please turn on to the appellant page, and just


           5       look at something that has been said on his behalf?  At


           6       tab 48 of bundle A, page 1856, and it is Mr Saxby's


           7       ground two skeleton argument.  At page 1858 --


           8   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Sorry, which bundle are we in?


           9   MR ALTMAN:  File A, my Lord.  Bundle A, tab 48.


          10   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  You have to bear with me, Mr Altman.


          11       Right, A/48.


          12   MR ALTMAN:  Tab 48.  Page 1858.


          13   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Yes.


          14   MR ALTMAN:  What Mr Saxby argues on behalf of Mr Page is:


          15           "The role of the Post Office as a private prosecutor


          16       is an important consideration in the determination of


          17       ground 2.  Post Office acted as victim, investigator,


          18       and prosecutor.  It may also be noted that upon


          19       conviction the Post Office would stand to materially


          20       benefit from confiscation proceedings.  Although in the


          21       case of this appellant ...(Reading to the words)...


          22       presumably on account of him losing his business and the


          23       resultant bankruptcy.  The Post Office also stood to


          24       gain from a convicted defendant's loss of their


          25       business."


                                            92





           1           It continues into paragraph 11:


           2           "The overarching theme of the Post Office's approach


           3       in prosecuting seems to have had at its heart a desire


           4       to preserve false confidence in its own Horizon system,


           5       even if that would contribute to the mismanagement of


           6       justice."


           7           Well, I have made submissions about that kind of


           8       submission earlier, I'm not going to repeat.


           9           The important point is, in Mr Page's case, no


          10       reference is made to any evidence, certainly not in his


          11       own case, that Post Offices instigation of his


          12       prosecution was improperly motivated or influenced by


          13       the prospect of financial benefit.  As Mr Saxby himself


          14       points out, there was no order for costs or compensation


          15       given Mr Page's financial position.


          16           So, my Lord, that is all I am going to say on the


          17       bulk of submissions we heard.


          18           Could I return, as I said I would yesterday evening,


          19       to some comments that were made yesterday.


          20           In submissions Mr Moloney indicated that the number


          21       of prosecutions by the Post Office went from two or


          22       three a year prior to Horizon, up to 14 to 50 after


          23       Horizon's introduction, and that was in response to


          24       a question from Mr Justice Picken on the issue of scale.


          25           Overnight, those in the back office, as it were,


                                            93





           1       have been busy, by which I mean Peters & Peters poring


           2       over all the material they have to provide the court


           3       with some figures.


           4           In 1996, there were 11 prosecutions of


           5       sub-postmasters; in 1997, 22; in 1998, 41.  None of


           6       those could have relied on Horizon.


           7           The only gap in information is what we cannot say,


           8       whether they were based on discrepancies or shortfalls.


           9           In 1999, there were 60 in total.  It is not believed


          10       that any were Horizon based.


          11           In 2000, once roll out had started, there were six


          12       prosecutions; in 2001, 41; in 2002, 64; in 2003, there


          13       were 56.


          14           I am going to take it all the way to 2013, just to


          15       manage your expectations, my Lord.


          16           In 2004, 59; 2005, 68; 2006, 69; 2007, 50; 2008, 48;


          17       2009, 70; 2010, 55; 2011, 44; 2012, 50.  Finally, 2013,


          18       56.


          19           So, what is clear is that there was an increase in


          20       the number of prosecutions after the introduction of


          21       Horizon.


          22           However, that is not to say that the increase in the


          23       number of prosecutions of sub-postmasters would or


          24       should necessarily have put Post Office on notice of


          25       problems with Horizon.  One of the advantages of


                                            94





           1       Horizon, from the Post Office's perspective, is that it


           2       facilitated better detection of theft or fraud and


           3       therefore there was almost an inbuilt idea that it was


           4       bound to detect more than a paper basis would have done.


           5           The Post Office might have expected the digitisation


           6       of branch accounts would inevitably lead to an increase


           7       in the detection and therefore prosecution for the


           8       charges alleged of fraudulent conduct.


           9   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Can I just check, Mr Altman, in case


          10       I misheard, that the year 2000, did you say 6?


          11   MR ALTMAN:  I did.


          12   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  And the year 2012?


          13   MR ALTMAN:  50.


          14   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Right.  I heard that as 15, but that


          15       was 50.


          16   MR ALTMAN:  My fault, I should have enunciated it better.


          17   LORD JUSTICE HOLROYDE:  Anything you want to say about the


          18       position in 2000?


          19   MR ALTMAN:  There is nothing I can say.  That is the figure


          20       that we have.  I don't understand why -- well, I am not


          21       going to speculate.


          22           In response to the suggestion that the number of


          23       prosecutions is or would have been striking, in the


          24       context of sub-postmasters who were recruited for their


          25       trustworthiness, we respectfully suggest it should be