Published Nov 07, 2014Yesterday (November 5), we learned the rather shocking news that AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd had be arrested and charged with attempting to procure murder by allegedly hiring a hitman. Now, this charge has reportedly been dropped.
Rudd had been accused of trying to hire someone to kill two people. His lawyer Paul Mabey said in a statement [via the New Zealand Herald], "I was advised by the Crown Solicitor Hollister-Jones that he had reviewed the police file and the available evidence to support the charge of attempting to procure murder. He had formed the view that there was insufficient evidence to justify that charge. He has now withdrawn the charge."
The initial charge was filed by the police. Following Rudd's first court appearance, the Crown Solicitor took over responsibility for the prosecution, which is when the charges were dropped.
Mabey said, "Mr. Rudd has suffered unnecessary and extremely damaging publicity as a result of widespread and sensational reporting of a very serious allegation, which on any basis was never justified. The damage to Mr. Rudd is incalculable. Questions arise as to the degree of care taken by those responsible for arresting and charging him with attempting to procure murder."
He added, "Mr. Rudd is considering any possible remedies he may have."
Although Rudd is no longer facing charges of attempting to procure murder, he's due back in court on November 27. He's still facing charges of threatening to kill, in addition to possession of methamphetamine and cannabis; the former charge carries a possible lengthy prison sentence. He's currently out on bail and must remain living at his home in Tauranga, New Zealand.
It's unclear if this development changes Rudd's status in regards to AC/DC. The band had said, "Phil's absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock or Bust and upcoming tour next year."
Meanwhile, AC/DC are set to release their album, Rock or Bust, via Columbia Records on December 2. They're also set to embark on a world tour following the record's release.