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Phil Rudd, the drummer of legendary rock band AC/DC, is no longer being charged with attempting to hire a hitman, for which he was arrested this week. However, he still faces charges of allegedly threatening to kill, and for possession of methamphetamine and cannabis, The New Zealand Herald reports.
Rudd's attorney Paul Mabey, announced in a statement that the prosecutor's office had determined there was not sufficient evidence to justify the charge by police of attempting to procure a murder:
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 Solicitor's opinion was not sought. The charge is now withdrawn — within 24 hours of Mr Rudd's first appearance in Court.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. [Paul Mabey QC]
Rudd is now out on bail, though confined to his home, and has his next court date on Nov. 27. The Herald also reports that the charges are a surprise to one of his neighbors: "I even see him out mowing the lawn for the elderly lady next door, so he's a pretty down-to-earth guy."