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Umm, really?

The architect of the faulty Horizon IT system, who gave evidence used to convict sub-postmasters, has demanded immunity before agreeing to appear at the public inquiry.

Gareth Jenkins, who is understood to have been instrumental in developing the software as a senior computer engineer at Fujitsu, is under police investigation over his role in the Post Office scandal.

His testimony given in court cases that the Fujitsu IT system was working correctly was central to convictions and repeatedly used by Post Office lawyers.

Tracked down by The Telegraph to his home in Berkshire, Mr Jenkins, 69, said, when asked if he was sorry for what had happened: “I don’t want to talk. I don’t have anything to say to you.”

Cannot be used against him
Mr Jenkins has twice sought a guarantee that any testimony he gives to the inquiry cannot be used against him in any possible prosecution and his testimony has also been delayed twice.

I don’t know enough about the law here. Can he demand that?

Maybe a public enquiry cannot subpoena witnesses?

My solution would appear to have its merits. Jail Them All.

18 thoughts on “Umm, really?”

  1. The irony is, that the system provably was working correctly.

    It was just crap to begin with.

    My guess is that they did not implement two phase commit be ause they had some ludicrous SLA in the contract about response times. If there is contention or congestion in the comms, this cant take a few seconds.

    By the way Stating the Bleeding Obvious Award today goes to Alison Pearson in the Telegraph

    The Post Office scandal has exposed Britain as a hotbed of cronyism and corruption

    Well cock a fucking doo !

  2. The Other Bloke in Italy

    I can improve on your solution Tim. While they are in prison, beggar them with fines and compensation claims.

    The precedent will be useful when we come to deal with the people who were responsible for a more recent outrage.

    That said, the wise and tolerant might go further with the second group, and require that when those criminals have sat in prison watching their families put out on the street, that they be taken out and publicly hanged.

  3. Unless it can be proved that he deliberately lied, something which would require unassailable documentary evidence that he privately knew or at least strongly suspected system error when communicating to his colleagues or superiors, I don’t see that he has done anything criminal.

    Unwise, short-sighted and self-serving without doubt, but these are not crimes.

    So what is he so worried about? Are there reports, emails, minutes, transcripts etc out there which show he knew the truth while the protections were still taking place? That would be perjury leading to severe consequences for innocent parties including deaths in which case lock him up.

    Even then as a senior engineer he would have had to be reporting to someone. That would be the really interesting trail to follow, right up to Ed Davey and Sir Starmer with any luck – talk about embarrassing just 9 months before an election, independent of any courtroom misconduct.

    P.s. as it’s highly unlikely the two honourable gentlemen were completely in the dark don’t expect an enquiry any time before 2025.

    P.p.s.s. I was wondering how long before the bbc started on a racism aspect and today it begins.

  4. Found it !

    From : [email protected]
    To : [email protected]
    Subject : Running rings

    Hi Gareth,

    Well done in court yesterday. They swallowed the whole thing. I was really pmsl when they sent that guy down for 2 yrs. Serves the twat right.

    As promised I will courier your ticket to New York over in a couple of days. My lovely friend Ghislaine will meet you at the airport. You won’t need much lugage, just your tootbrush lol.

    Paula x

  5. There are sufficient witness reports that name him specifically and document him specifically as – how shall I put this to protect the blog – giving statements sufficiently departing from reality as to be prosecutable. No wonder he is demanding immunity.

    “Gareth Jenkins, who denied the issues point-blank, ran off to hide in Bracknell and avoided contact with the team.” does not give confidence.

    I weep reading the witness statements.

  6. If he was an employee of either Fujitsu or The PO, then he would not need immunity as the companies and the board members are ultimately responsible for this mess. Then again, he did give evidence in some of the trials and this raises the question of whether or not he lied under oath. You would need immunity if that was the case. I know the Americans love doing these sort of deals in order to make their criminal justice system more “efficient”. I am not sure if that is something we do over here.

  7. I take back what I said earlier “no individuals… a pervading culture…” The more evidence I read the more it is clear that that pervading culture was stoked and protected by named individuals. No immunity. No clemency. No freedom. The wheels of justice must grind.

  8. At the point I’ve been reading about so far, Gareth Jenkins’ line of reporting ended with Peter Mandelson. In fact, PM was regularly on site demanding the project be rolled out as soon as possible.

  9. Here’s me thinking seeing Davey and Starmer in the dock was the dream scenario but Mandleson as well!!!!

    It just needs computer modelling whizz Professor Neil Ferguson to make it perfect.

  10. Martin Near The M25

    “Here’s me thinking seeing Davey and Starmer in the dock was the dream scenario but Mandleson as well”

    Can you volunteer for Jury duty? Just wondering.

  11. Can we at least release, exonerate and compensate the victims immediately, or will Sunak appoint a committee to examine etc etc?

  12. Rowdy: Can we at least release, exonerate and compensate the victims immediately?.

    Apparently not because the group as a whole might actually harbour some genuine wrong’uns. This despite the obvious fact that innumerable wrong’un’s who have overseen and perpetuated the injustice have not been brought to book.

  13. “Apparently not because the group as a whole might actually harbour some genuine wrong’uns.”

    Isn’t the whole justice system predicated on the concept that its better to let some guilty go free than jail the innocent? The whole beyond reasonable doubt principle? So why should that be yurned on its head here? Yes some wrong’uns may get a free pass (apart from they’ll have done their time anyway, like the innocent) so all they’ll gain is their ‘good’ name. Which seems like a small price to pay when so many innocents have been falsely convicted.

  14. An enquiry has been going on for a long time already. I don’t know if it is a group civil action or a formal PE but Fujitsu and the PO are represented by some very expensive lawyers. I’m told an old distant acquaintance is making a mint representing Jujitsu. Their strategy (I’m told) was to stonewall and drag the hearings out with the PO and FU blaming each other until everyone lost interest, Good for his day rate. Not sure what happens now.

  15. And in the afternoon news, Sunak has announced that they will legislate to overturn the convictions. Something not done since the 1660 Indemnity and Oblivion Act.

  16. I imagine a lawyer would argue that working perfectly could be interpreted as working as designed and specified so not necessarily perjury, just the wrong question being asked.

    The issue of the specs and design weren’t up to scratch being another thing entirely, but you’d expect a developer to have at least written down their concerns as a CYA at some point so the question is who chose to ignore the risk

  17. Ah well BNiC

    Depends dunnit ?

    My attitude ( I was a Systems man, not really a developer ) was “make it work”, in spite of the crap design.

    The Indian developer’s attitude is ” do what I am told in the specification and if it doesn”t work it’s not my fault.”

    What I do not know about this debacle is whether

    The design was wrong
    The design was right but they couldn’t work out how to implement it
    They cut corners to get it out of the door. Regardless of whether it worked or not.

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