29 October 1998 Edition

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NIO block inquiry into beating of Davy Adams

The official inquiry into the brutal and vicious beating of republican POW Davy Adams by the RUC has run into serious difficulties after the NIO refused to pay his solicitors.

The Independent Commission of Police Complaints (ICPC) had initially ordered the inquiry after Adams won 30,000 in damages against the RUC because of multiple injuries he received following his arrest and detention at Castlereagh holding centre four years ago.

After the RUC beating Adams spent three weeks in hospital for treatment to a broken leg, two fractured ribs, a punctured lung and cuts to his face, chest and body.

In the ruling on behalf of Davy Adams, Justice Kerr said he ``could not excuse the assault [and] . . . damages must be awarded to mark the law's condemnation of such illegal behaviour''.

A team led by Strathclyde's Assistant Chief Constable Jim Orr is currently nearing the end of the inquiry but the refusal by the ICPC and NIO to pay Adams's solicitors, Madden and Finucane, has effectively brought the investigation to a standstill.

Adams's solicitor, Mr McMenamin said: ``The situation has arisen due to the fact that the NIO Police Division and/or the Police Authority have refused to pay expenses that both the ICPC and the Strathclyde investigation team believe are reasonable and necessary for the proper conduct of the inquiry.''

In July the ICPC and NIO wrote to McMenamin refusing to met his request for payment.

The letter also said, ``a full investigation is clearly in your client's interest and the commission is of the opinion that any costs should be borne by him.''

Last week, in another letter the NIO said it could ``not see any grounds'' for his firm to be funded.

This latest NIO interference with an inquiry into RUC brutality raises the question about who benefits and who loses out from any investigation to establish the truth and how this effects the impartiality of any such investigation.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1