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AC/DC drummer ‘relieved’ charge dropped

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd will now forever be linked with a “seedy” plot to kill someone despite having the serious charge against him dropped, says his lawyer.

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Paul Mabey QC said his client is considering action against New Zealand police following the backflip on Friday.

“He is obviously relieved the charge has been dropped, but he is concerned about whether he can undo all the damage,” he said.

Crown solicitor Greg Hollister-Jones’ decision to withdraw the attempt to procure murder charge against Rudd due to insufficient evidence comes a day after the 60-year-old was arrested at his luxury harbourside home in the North Island town of Tauranga.

Rudd was charged with attempting to procure murder, threatening to kill, and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis.

He still faces the threatening to kill and drugs charges.

Mr Mabey said Rudd is angered by his hasty arrest and the irrevocable damage it has done to his reputation around the world.

“It makes for good reading, but it also makes for very damaging publicity,” he said.

“The world gets told of it and now it’s all gone – but what isn’t gone is the fact that he’s now linked to some seedy plot to kill someone.”

Mr Mabey says the attempt to procure murder charge was made by the police without consultation with the crown solicitor and should never have been laid.

“It would have been good sense for the police to consult their own adviser,” he said.”

Rudd has an issue with the way police handled the matter, his lawyer said.

“He is angry that he has received worldwide publicity in conjunction with the concept of murder,” Mr Mabey told Radio New Zealand.

Police issued a statement saying the charges had been laid and “in matters of this nature the crown solicitor then becomes responsible for the prosecution”.

With the other charges remaining before the court, they declined to add to their statement.

Mr Mabey said Rudd would defend the threatening to kill charge.

He also said the “minor” charges of possessing methamphetamine and cannabis were “strictly for his personal use”.

Australian-born Rudd moved to New Zealand in 1983, settling in Tauranga, a coastal community of about 110,000 people southeast of Auckland.

Before the most serious charge was dropped, AC/DC released a statement saying Rudd’s “absence” won’t affect the release of their new album or their 2015 world tour.

AC/DC’s 17th album Rock or Bust is due out on December 2.

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