AC/DC’s Drummer Let Off Of Murder Charge.
The drummer of AC/DC, Phil Rudd, has had a charge of attempting to arrange a murder scrapped in a New Zealand court. He still faces charges of possessing drugs and making threats to kill. The U-turn by authorities, announced less than 24 hours after Mr Rudd appeared in court, was because of a lack of evidence, his lawyer said.
Paul Mabey said the charge should never have been laid, and that his client was considering “any possible remedies”. He added that Mr Rudd had suffered “incalculable” damage from the publicity surrounding the allegation and its sensational reporting. Mr Mabey described the drug charges as “minor” offences and said the musician would defend the charge of making threats to kill, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in jail.
AC/DC had earlier issued a statement saying its planned tour would not be affected by news of the charges. The band is one of the highest grossing music acts of all time. In an interview to be broadcast in December, Johnson and Young said AC/DC was planning a tour. On Thursday, the 60-year-old musician appeared in court after a police raid on his waterfront house in Tauranga, on New Zealand’s North Island. He was released on bail and told he must not contact anyone involved in the alleged murder plot.
But on Friday, prosecuting lawyer Greg Hollister-Jones said his office had reviewed the case and found there was “insufficient evidence to proceed with the charge of attempting to procure murder”. The initial charge of attempting to procure murder was made by police, but after Mr Rudd’s court appearance, Crown prosecutors took on the case. Local media reports said at the time that the alleged plot targeted two men. The judge ruled that their names as well as that of the alleged hit-man could not be revealed.