Earlier today it was reported that AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd had been arrested and charged with attempting to procure the murder of two men, according to New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty Police District representative Kim Perks. He was also charged with threatening to kill, possession of cannabis, and possession of methamphetamine. Rudd’s attorney Paul Mabey has reported that the charges of attempting to procure two murders have been withdrawn. Maybe also described the still-standing drug charges as “minor”. Rudd entered no plea to the charges at the Tauranga District Court yesterday. Mabey released this statement tonight:
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 He has now withdrawn the charge.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 The charge is now withdrawn – within twenty four hours of Mr.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
AC/DC issued a collective statement earlier today:
“We’ve only become aware of Phil’s arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock or Bust and upcoming tour next year.”
In light of the procuring a murder charges being dropped, we speculate that Rudd will be good to go for the band’s world tour in 2015. The band’s much-anticipated new album Rock or Bust comes out December 2 via Columbia Records. The album was produced by Brendan O’Brien and mixed by Mike Fraser, both of whom worked on the band’s previous effort Black Ice. The disc debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and sold over 784,000 copies in it’s first week of sales. It was one of only two albums the band released that decade (Stiff Upper Lip, 2000). The disc garnered the band the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for the track “War Machine”. Sadly, the new disc will be the band’s first without founding rhythm guitaristMalcolm Young, who recently announced his official retirement from the band due to illness. Stevie Young, nephew of Malcolm and lead guitarist Angus Young, played rhythm guitar on the new album and will tour with the band in 2015. Tour dates are expected to be announced before the new year. AC/DC are undeniably one of the greatest music artists of all time. To date, the band has sold over 200 million albums worldwide and have produced some of hard rock and heavy metal’s biggest anthems. – by Matt Bishop