‘Attempting To Procure A Murder’ Charge Dropped Against AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd

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As reported earlier today, Phil Rudd, AC/DC drummer, had been charged with one count of of ‘attempting to procure a murder’ of two men and separate counts of threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine and possession of cannabis.

According to many sources down under, including The New Zealand Herald, charges are now being dropped. Rudd’s lawyer, Paul Mabey QC, released a statement to the press stating that there was “insufficent evidence to justify the charge.” Read part of the statement below:

I was advised by the Crown Solicitor, Mr 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 He has now withdrawn the charge.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 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.

Read the full statement from Rudd’s lawyer after the jump. AC/DC is set to release Rock or Bust, the band’s first studio effort in six years, next month.

Full statement from Phil Rudd’s lawyer, via The New Zealand Herald:

Paul Mabey QC on behalf of Phillip Rudd

Mr Rudd appeared in Court yesterday charged with Attempting to Procure Murder, and also Threatening to Kill, Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Methamphetamine.

Some members of the media published his name, together with details of those charges, before Mr Rudd appeared in Court.

When Mr Rudd appeared in Court, he was photographed. He was bailed to return at a later date.

As a result of his appearance he has received worldwide publicity focusing upon the allegation of Attempting to Procure Murder.

The decision to charge Mr Rudd was made by the New Zealand Police without consultation with the Tauranga Crown Solicitor.

I am engaged to represent Mr Rudd on instructions from his solicitor, Karen Gravatt, of Sharp Tudhope Solicitors, Tauranga. I met today with the Tauranga Crown Solicitor and Senior Members of the Police.

I was advised by the Crown Solicitor, Mr 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 He has now withdrawn the charge.

Mr Rudd will defend the charge of Threatening to Kill. Charges relating to any personal possession of drugs are minor.

The charge alleging an Attempt to Procure Murder should never have been laid. The Crown Solicitors opinion was not sought. The charge is now withdrawn – within twenty four hours of Mr Rudd’s first appearance in Court.

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.

Citizens are entitled to a responsible exercise of the power to charge which, as is proved here, can give rise to potentially irreversible damage if that power is not exercised responsibly.

Mr Rudd is considering any possible remedies he may have.

Paul Mabey QC

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