Finally there’s some good news for Phil Rudd. The AC/DC drummer’s charge of attempting to procure murder has reportedly been withdrawn.
According to Stuff.co.nz, the Tauranga Crown solicitor withdrew the procuring murder charge the day after Rudd appeared in court for attempting to hire a hitman to kill two men, saying there was insufficient evidence to justify the charge. “The decision to charge Mr. Rudd was made by the New Zealand Police without consultation with the Tauranga Crown solicitor,” claimed Rudd’s lawyer Paul Mabey QC after meeting with the Crown solicitor. “The charge alleging an attempt to procure murder should never have been laid… 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.” Rudd had also been charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of cannabis and threatening to kill. While those charges remain in tact, Mabey says the drug possession charges were “minor” and that Rudd intends to defend the threatening to kill charge.
Whether this means Rudd is completely in the clear remains to be seen (the charge of threatening to kill alone comes with a maximum prison term of seven years if found guilty). Also still unclear is where the drummer stands within his own band. Earlier today, AC/DC issued a brief statement claiming that Rudd’s legal woes wouldn’t affect the release and tour behind their new album Rock Or Bust. Not helping matters is Rudd’s absence from the band’s recent video shoots and promo photo. Whatever happens, at least there’s one guy that thinks highly of Rudd.