Belfast Telegraph

AC/DC drummer cleared of murder-for-hire

Phil Rudd, a drummer for legendary rock band AC/DC, will not be tried for attempting to procure murder.

The 50-year-old Australian-born musician was arrested by New Zealand police Thursday following a raid at his home in Tauraunga. He was taken into custody on suspicion of attempting to procure murder, threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis, according to The Guardian.

And now USA Today reports Tauranga Crown Solicitor Greg Hollister-Jones has explained why Rudd won’t face prosecution on one of the charges.

"The file was obtained today and reviewed, [I] made the decision that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the charge of attempting to procure murder,” he revealed in a statement.

Apparently Rudd’s drug possession and threatening to kill indictments remain.

His attorney Paul Mabey argues police rushed to charge the rocker with a bevy of crimes before discussing their evidentiary findings with prosecutors.

"The charge alleging an attempt to procure murder should never have been laid," 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."

Rudd appeared in court Thursday afternoon but did not speak during the hearing.

He was released after making bail and ordered not to leave Tauranga.

Rudd did not address the media, leaving the courthouse in a late model Mercedes, according the the New Zealand Herald.

The musician joined AC/DC in 1975 and left the group in 1983, only to rejoin in 1994.

The band has plans to release a new album, entitled Rock or Bust, later this year.

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