Jarnail Singh - Day 132 AM (03 May 2024) - Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry

Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry
3 May 2024178:25

TLDRThe transcript appears to be a legal proceeding, possibly part of an inquiry or trial, involving a witness named Jarnail Singh. The dialogue centers around Mr. Singh's knowledge and actions concerning the Post Office Horizon IT system, specifically regarding known bugs, errors, and defects within the system. The examination covers Mr. Singh's awareness of these issues, when he became aware of them, and whether this knowledge was appropriately disclosed during criminal proceedings. The conversation also touches on the legal team's handling of the matter, the role of external advisors, and the implications of non-disclosure. The tone is formal and the content is complex, dealing with legal principles such as self-incrimination and the privilege against it. There is a focus on the integrity of the Horizon system and the potential consequences of its disclosed flaws, including the impact on past and future prosecutions.


  • 📜 The inquiry focuses on Jarnail Singh's knowledge and actions regarding the Post Office Horizon IT system's bugs and their disclosure in legal proceedings.
  • 👤 Mr. Singh confirms he was not qualified in Scottish law and was not aware of anyone else in the legal team who was.
  • 🚫 Mr. Singh denies any involvement in a cover-up of the Horizon system's bugs, errors, and defects.
  • 🤔 Mr. Singh表示自己对Horizon系统中的一些错误并不知情,直到2013年7月第二次现场报告公布前不久才知道。
  • 🗓️ 第二次现场报告于2013年7月8日公布,揭示了Horizon系统自2010年1月以来存在的两个已知缺陷。
  • 🔍 讨论了Mr. Singh在2013年和2015年的声明,他在声明中声称自己是在第二次现场报告公布后才首次了解到所谓的收据和支付不匹配错误。
  • 📧 发现了一封电子邮件,显示Mr. Singh在2010年10月8日收到了有关Horizon系统缺陷的详细信息,并在收到电子邮件后9分钟打印了相关文档。
  • 😖 Mr. Singh表示自己不记得收到或阅读了包含缺陷信息的电子邮件,也不知道它被保存在了他的驱动器中。
  • 🏛️ 讨论了Mr. Singh在法庭上的策略,包括对Horizon系统的提及,以及他是否试图证明陪审团的裁决是正确的。
  • ✋ Mr. Singh被问及是否曾考虑过他可能需要解释为什么在Misra案件中没有披露已知的系统错误。
  • 📝 强调了记录的重要性,以及Mr. Singh在处理与Horizon系统相关的法律事务时的谨慎态度。

Q & A

  • What was the main concern raised by Jarnail Singh during the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry?

    -Jarnail Singh was primarily concerned about the alleged cover-up by the Post Office regarding the existence of bugs, errors, and defects in the Horizon system, and whether this knowledge was appropriately disclosed in criminal proceedings.

  • What was the role of Gareth Jenkins in the context of the Horizon system?

    -Gareth Jenkins was an employee of Fujitsu, the company responsible for the Horizon system. He was involved in identifying and addressing issues within the system, such as the 'calendar square' or 'ferk' bug.

  • What was the significance of the 'second site report' mentioned in the transcript?

    -The second site report, dated the 8th of July 2013, was significant because it revealed the existence of three defects in the Horizon system, which had not been previously disclosed to the courts or the defendants in related criminal proceedings.

  • What was the legal principle referred to as the 'privilege against self-incrimination'?

    -The privilege against self-incrimination is a legal principle that allows a witness at a public inquiry to decline to answer any question if answering that question might incriminate them. It is a right that ensures individuals are not compelled to provide evidence against themselves.

  • What was the position of John L. Singh regarding his knowledge of bugs in the Horizon system?

    -John L. Singh stated that he was not aware of any bugs in the Horizon system, except for those mentioned in the case of Misra, until the second site report was published. He denied any involvement in a cover-up or any attempt to hide the existence of bugs.

  • What was the role of the Royal Mail Group legal team in relation to the Horizon system?

    -The Royal Mail Group legal team, which later became the Post Office legal team, was responsible for handling legal matters related to the Horizon system. However, it was clarified that John L. Singh, as part of the team, did not have knowledge of Scottish law and was not aware of any team member who was qualified in that area.

  • What was the issue with the local suspense account problem mentioned in the second site report?

    -The local suspense account problem was one of the defects identified in the second site report. It affected 14 branches and was not discovered until a year after its first occurrence. This issue contributed to discrepancies in the Horizon system.

  • Why was there a concern about the terminology used by Second Site in their report?

    -The concern was that Second Site's use of terminology could lead to potential arguments over the meaning of 'systemic' versus 'system-wide' defects. This terminology could affect the perception of whether the bugs were widespread across the entire system or just in certain parts, which had implications for criminal law perspectives and the Post Office's representation of the system's integrity.

  • What was the advice given by Simon Clark concerning the disclosure of bugs in the Horizon system?

    -Simon Clark advised that if the Post Office was aware of bugs that affected up to 30 offices, including some Crown office branches, and this information was not disclosed to the defense or the courts, it could lead to serious consequences. He emphasized the importance of accurate representation and disclosure to avoid any potential misrepresentation of the second site report's content.

  • What was the context in which John L. Singh claimed he was unaware of certain bugs in the Horizon system?

    -John L. Singh claimed that his knowledge and involvement with the Horizon system's bugs were limited. He stated that he was only aware of the bugs mentioned in the Misra case and was not privy to other information or involved in decision-making processes regarding disclosure. He attributed his knowledge to the advice and discussions with the head of legal and the general counsel.

  • What was the significance of the email exchange on the 8th of January 2015 regarding the BBC Inside Out program?

    -The email exchange highlighted concerns about the Post Office's approach to discussing the Horizon system's bugs publicly. It showed that there was internal awareness of the potential for misrepresentation and the serious implications of not disclosing known bugs, which could lead to embarrassment for the Post Office and potentially affect the outcomes of criminal prosecutions.



😀 Witness Testimony and Legal Precedence

The paragraph involves a witness, Mr. Singh, being asked to reaffirm his previous testimony and swear by Guru Nanak. The conversation addresses the legal principle of self-incrimination, with Mr. Singh being reminded of his rights. There is also mention of a prior release from prohibition and the necessity of re-wearing, suggesting a legal context possibly involving a case or inquiry.


🔍 Inquiry into Professional Background and Knowledge of Scottish Law

The second paragraph delves into the professional background of the witness, specifically their knowledge and experience with Scottish law. It is revealed that the witness is not qualified in Scottish law and is questioned about the qualifications of others within their legal team. The discussion then shifts to a potential cover-up within the post office related to bugs, errors, and defects in the Horizon system, with the witness denying any personal involvement or prior knowledge.


📜 Review of Witness Statements and Legal Advice

The focus of this paragraph is on reviewing witness statements and legal advice related to the case. The witness acknowledges receiving and being concerned about the findings in a report, which is later identified as the second site interim report. The discussion involves a legal advisor, Simon Clark, and his advice concerning duties of disclosure and expert evidence. The witness's awareness of bugs in the Horizon system is a key point of inquiry.


🏦 Post Office Legal Team's Handling of System Bugs

This paragraph discusses the Post Office legal team's handling of known system bugs and their disclosure in criminal proceedings. The witness denies any knowledge of specific bugs until the second site report was published. The conversation highlights the potential implications of non-disclosure and the importance of accurate representation of the second site report's content from a criminal law perspective.


📧 Email Exchange Regarding BBC Interview and System Bugs

The fifth paragraph presents an email exchange about an upcoming BBC Inside Out program interview. The email expresses concern over the Post Office's portrayal of the system's integrity and the existence of bugs. The discussion revolves around the terminology used in reports, the potential for misrepresentation, and the consequences of such misrepresentations on the legal proceedings and the Post Office's reputation.


🤔 Witness's Awareness and Involvement with System Bugs

The witness is questioned about their awareness and involvement with the known bugs in the Horizon system. The witness maintains that their knowledge was limited and that they were not involved in decisions regarding disclosure of the bugs to the defense and courts. The conversation suggests a potential cover-up and the witness's possible complicity, which the witness denies.


🏢 Internal Scrutiny and Response to Second Site Report

This paragraph details the internal response within the Post Office to the impending publication of the Second Site report, which was expected to discuss bugs in the Horizon system. The witness describes their limited involvement and lack of knowledge about the bugs, asserting that they were not part of any working group or decision-making process regarding the bugs.


📝 Document Handling and the Misra Case

The focus is on the handling of documents related to the Misra case and the potential implications of a bug known as the receipts and payments mismatch bug. The witness denies any recollection of receiving or printing a document related to the bug and asserts that they would have disclosed the bug if they had been aware of it. The conversation challenges the witness's claim of ignorance regarding the bug.


🏛️ Proceedings and Disclosures in the Misra Case

The discussion revolves around the proceedings in the Misra case and the failure to disclose the existence of a bug that could have impacted the trial's outcome. The witness defends their actions, stating that they were not aware of the bug and, therefore, could not have disclosed it. The conversation suggests that the witness may have been part of a group that attempted to cover up the bug's existence.


📋 Document Trails and the Local Suspense Account Bug

The paragraph deals with an email chain that discusses the local suspense account bug within the Post Office. The witness is informed about the bug and its effects, which had been identified as early as January 2012. The conversation suggests a possible internal rush to understand the timeline of the organization's knowledge of the bug before the publication of the second site report.


🕵️‍♂️ Inquiry into the Calendar Square Bug

The focus is on the calendar square or ferk bug and the witness's knowledge of it. The discussion involves an email from 2010 that references the bug and the need for further investigation. The witness's understanding of the bug and the implications for the Horizon system are explored, with the witness denying any prior knowledge or involvement in covering up the bug.


📧 Email Exchanges Regarding Legal Advice and Disclosure

This paragraph involves an email exchange where the witness is asked to provide a copy of a witness statement from the Castleton case. The discussion revolves around the legal advice given and the need for disclosure in criminal cases. The witness emphasizes their limited involvement and the established procedures within the Post Office regarding such matters.


🗂️ Document Shredding and Its Implications

The paragraph discusses a conversation regarding the shredding of documents related to the Post Office's criminal litigation. The witness expresses discomfort with the instruction to shred minutes of meetings and discusses the matter with external counsel. The conversation highlights concerns over the proper handling of disclosure obligations and the potential consequences of shredding documents.


📉 Prosecution Strategy and the Impact on Horizon's Reputation

The final paragraph addresses the Post Office's prosecution strategy and the potential impact on the reputation of the Horizon system. The witness discusses the need for a consistent approach to prosecutions and the risks associated with not proceeding with a case. The conversation suggests that stopping a case could lead to capitulation and undermine faith in the Horizon system.



💡Horizon IT Inquiry

The Horizon IT Inquiry refers to an investigation into the Post Office's Horizon computer system, which was at the center of a controversy involving allegations of bugs, errors, and defects that affected postmasters and led to some being wrongly accused of financial discrepancies. The inquiry is a significant part of the video's narrative as it discusses the testimonies and evidence presented during the investigation.

💡Post Office Legal Team

The Post Office Legal Team is mentioned in the context of their involvement and knowledge regarding the Horizon system's issues. They are responsible for the legal aspects of the Post Office's operations, and their actions and decisions are scrutinized in the transcript, particularly concerning the disclosure of information about the Horizon system's problems.


Self-incrimination is a legal principle that allows a witness to refuse to answer questions that might incriminate them. In the video, the judge reminds Mr. Singh of this principle, highlighting the importance of legal rights and fair play in the inquiry process. It is a key concept as it underscores the seriousness of the proceedings and the protection of individual rights.


Disclosure in this context refers to the legal requirement to make known relevant information, particularly regarding the bugs and issues with the Horizon system. The transcript discusses whether certain information should have been disclosed in criminal proceedings, which is central to the allegations being investigated.

💡Witness Statement

A witness statement is a written account of a witness's testimony. In the video, Mr. Singh's witness statement is referenced, indicating that it is a formal record of his evidence given to the inquiry. It is a crucial part of the legal proceedings as it provides a written record of his evidence and assertions under oath.

💡Cover Up

A cover-up implies the concealment or隐瞒 of wrongdoing. The video discusses allegations of a cover-up by the Post Office regarding their prior knowledge of the Horizon system's defects. This is a significant theme as it relates to the integrity of the legal process and the Post Office's responsibility towards those affected by the system.

💡Second Site Report

The Second Site Report is a document that revealed the existence of bugs in the Horizon system. It is a pivotal piece of evidence in the inquiry as it is suggested to have been the first time that certain parties became aware of these issues, which is a matter of contention in the video.

💡Defects in Horizon

Defects in Horizon refer to the errors and malfunctions within the Post Office's Horizon computer system. These defects are central to the inquiry as they are alleged to have caused significant financial and legal repercussions for postmasters, leading to the investigation.

💡Criminal Litigation

Criminal litigation involves the legal process of prosecuting crimes. In the video, it is mentioned in the context of cases against postmasters where the integrity of the Horizon system was a factor. The handling of such litigation is under scrutiny, particularly concerning the disclosure of relevant information.

💡Privilege Against Self-Incrimination

The privilege against self-incrimination is a legal right that protects individuals from being forced to provide evidence that could potentially lead to their own prosecution. In the video, the judge reminds Mr. Singh of this right, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding the rights of the individuals involved in the inquiry.

💡Working Groups

Working groups are teams assembled to address specific issues or tasks. In the context of the video, working groups are mentioned in relation to dealing with the Horizon system's problems. They are significant as they represent the organizational effort to manage and resolve the complex technical and legal issues at hand.


Jarnail Singh, a key figure in the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry, was questioned about his knowledge and involvement in potential cover-ups related to the Horizon system's bugs and defects.

Singh was reminded of the legal principle of the privilege against self-incrimination and assured that he could rely on it during questioning.

Despite previous claims, Singh admitted to being aware of the 'calendar square' bug and its implications before the release of the second site report in 2013.

Singh denied any involvement in a cover-up of the Horizon system's issues and insisted that his knowledge was limited to specific cases.

The inquiry focused on discrepancies in Singh's testimonies over time, particularly regarding his knowledge of system bugs before July 2013.

A document from Gareth Jenkins, detailing the 'receipts and payments mismatch bug', was identified and linked to Singh, despite his claims of limited knowledge on the subject.

An email from Singh's secretary to Fujitsu lawyers shows early knowledge of the 'calendar square' bug, contradicting Singh's later statements.

Singh's role in the prosecution of sub-postmasters and his handling of the Misra case were scrutinized for potential oversights and lack of disclosure of known bugs.

The inquiry discussed the potential repercussions of non-disclosure of Horizon system bugs on the integrity of criminal proceedings and the Post Office's legal team.

Singh expressed his lack of technical knowledge and the reliance on experts like Gareth Jenkins for understanding the Horizon system's complexities.

The defense questioned Singh's credibility, suggesting a possible cover-up and suppression of information regarding the Horizon system's bugs.

The proceedings highlighted the pressure on Singh to maintain the integrity of the Horizon system's public image and the potential impact on Post Office prosecutions.

Singh was confronted with evidence suggesting prior knowledge of the bugs, leading to discussions about the responsibilities and failures in the disclosure process.

The inquiry examined the advice given to the Post Office regarding the handling of cases involving the Horizon system and the potential need for new expert witnesses.

The concept of 'faith in Horizon' was discussed, revealing the Post Office's concern about maintaining public trust in the system, despite internal knowledge of defects.

The strategy of not allowing defendants to challenge the integrity of Horizon as part of their guilty pleas was questioned, revealing a potential conflict with the principles of fair trial.