A day after being named as the primary suspect in a murder plot in Tauranga, New Zealand, AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been acquitted of the said charge due to lack of supporting evidence, his lawyer has revealed.
Rudd, 60, was charged on Thursday for allegedly acquiring the services of an assassin to kill two people. He was also hit with two more charges – threatening to kill and drug possession – both of which still remain, but the murder charge has been dropped.
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Rudd's attorney Paul Mabey QC said: "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 He has now withdrawn the charge.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 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 The charge is now withdrawn -- within twenty four hours of Mr Rudd's first appearance in Court."
Rudd joined AC/DC in 1974 – a year after the legendary hard rock band was founded by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. He was fired from the band in 1983 but returned to the line-up eight years later. He has since been an active member of the group and contributed to their upcoming album "Rock or Bust," due to be released this month.