THE first case in which an independent agency investigated complaints against the RUC has failed to secure a prosecution despite a £30,000 payout to the complainant after claims he was beaten while in custody. The solicitor representing 40-year-old west Belfast man David Adams said yesterday he “failed to understand” the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) decision not to recommend prosecutions in the case. Mr Eamon McMenamin of the legal firm Madden and Finucane said he will now seek clarification from the DPP and intends to ask if the newly-established Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission can examine the case. Referring to his client’s successful civil action for damages against the RUC, he said: “The civil judgement of the Honourable Mr Justice Kerr is in the public forum and a bald statement of ‘no prosecution’ from the DPP will not allay public concern and only goes to reinforce distrust in the criminal justice system.” In the wake of this successful civil action and public concern over the case RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan ordered a fresh investigation. This sparked the unprecedented decision to draft in independent investigators from outside Northern Ireland to investigate a complaint against the RUC. This had only ever been seen in wide-ranging probes such as the Stalker inquiry and had never been used in the investigation of an individual’s complaints. Strathclyde’s assistant chief constable Jim Orr headed a team of officers from his own force to investigate the case. His report was then passed to the DPP. But the case has been dogged by controversy. Most notably, in March 1998 security chiefs were asked to explain why the independent commissioner for holding centres was not informed about the case for four years. Sinn Fein West Belfast assembly member Alex Maskey said the DPP decision relegated nationalists to “second class citizenship”. “Once again we see the inability of the judicial system to deliver justice to the nationalist community.” CAJ legal officer, Paul Mageean, described the DPP decision not to prosecute as “incomprehensible”. Mr Mageean said that in light of the findings made by Lord Justice Kerr in the civil case the DPP decision would be “very difficult for the public to understand”.