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ITV to air special documentary exploring the British Post Office scandal

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ITV is to air a one-off documentary exploring the British Post Office scandal.

Provisionally titled People vs Post Office: The Real Story, the hour-long special will air alongside upcoming new four-part drama People vs. Post Office.

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It tells the story of one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history, affecting dozens of innocent sub-postmasters and postmistresses, wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting due to a defective IT system.

The documentary has exclusive access to Alan Bates, the man who has campaigned tirelessly for nearly twenty years to expose a scandal. It will also feature the sub postmasters whose lives were wrecked by the scandal and who are featured in the ITV drama.

ITV share: "Over a fourteen year period, Post Office accused hundreds of sub postmasters of theft. Some were sent to prison, over 700 were given criminal convictions. Livelihoods were lost and reputations destroyed. The sub post masters suffered financial ruin, severe mental and physical health problems and at least one took their own life.

"After identifying a shortfall in his accounts and having had his contract terminated by the Post Office in 2003, Alan Bates refused to accept the accounting errors were his. He suspected the Fujitsu-supplied computer system called Horizon was to blame. He began a campaign, bringing together hundreds of other sub-postmasters who’d been affected.

"In an epic David vs Goliath fight against a huge government-owned organisation, Alan took the Post Office to court and won. But his fight for justice and compensation for the victims of the scandal continues to this day. "

Executive Producer Natasha Bondy said: “This is a story that’s shocked the nation. As the man who has fought so long and hard for justice but has never courted the limelight, we’re privileged that Alan Bates has allowed us to tell his story.”

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Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual at ITV added “Giving voice to the people who sacrificed so much to campaign for justice and expose a scandal at the heart of one of the UK’s most familiar institutions, this film promises to be an eye-opening, insightful and compelling companion piece to the new ITV drama.”

An air date for the documentary and drama are to be announced.

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