Phil Rudd will face trial in February judge rules

Phil Rudd in court

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd will stand trial next year on charges of threatening to kill four people and possession of drugs, a New Zealand judge has ruled.

Rudd wasn’t present at the court hearing in Tauranga where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. It is likely that he will face a judge-only trial with no separate jury. Judge Tom Ingram said that a ruling will be made in February.

Rudd’s status as part of AC/DC remains in doubt, with his bandmates insisting that they will tour next year regardless of the outcome of the trial. Frontman Brian Johnson said recently: “I don’t think we have to do anything – fire him or anything. I think the situation is going to take care of itself.”

Rudd was recently replaced by Bob Richards of blues rockers Buck and Evans for two video shoots in London. AC/DC released their latest album, Rock Or Bust, yesterday.

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Murder plot charges against AC/DC drummer dropped

Phil Rudd in court

Charges against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd of attempting to procure murder have been dropped. The musicians lawyer has said that the accusations should never have been made.

Rudd’s legal representative Paul Mabey made a statment saying: “I was advised by Crown solicitor Greg 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 He has now withdrawn the charge.

“It should never have been laid. The Crown solicitor’s opinion was not sought.”

Other charges relating to the possession of drugs and threatening to kill will remain. Rudd could still face a prison sentence of up to 7 years if convicted. Mabey describes the drugs charges as minor and says that Rudd will fight them when he returns to court later this month.

“The damage to Mr Rudd is incalculable,” Mabey continues. “Questions arise as to the degree of care taken by those responsible for arresting and charging him. My client 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.”

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AC/DC issue statement regarding arrest of Phil Rudd

ACDC

AC/DC have issued a brief statement regarding the arrest of drummer Phil Rudd.

As Rolling Stone reports the statement says simply: “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.”

Rudd was arrested in New Zealand on a charge of attempting to procure the murder of two men. He has since appeared in court and has now been released on bail. The terms of his bail mean that Rudd is forbidden to contact anyone else involved in the case. He could face a jail sentence of up to 10 years if found guilty.

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AC/DCs Phil Rudd arrested by New Zealand police

Phil Rudd in court

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been arrested by New Zealand police on a charge of attempting to procure the murder of two men.

The sticksman’s Tauranga home was raided by police early this morning after information was passed to them by a member of the public. The alleged offences are said to have been committed in September of this year.

Rudd later entered no plea at Tauranga District Court to the main charge, plus additional charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of cannabis and threatening to kill. If found guilty, he could face a jail sentence of up to 10 years.

Rudd has been the subject of speculation in the past few weeks after he failed to turn up for a video shoot in London earlier this year. AC/DC also released a publicity photo recently that didn’t feature Rudd, offering no explanation for his absence.

The legendary rockers are set to release their 16th studio album, Rock Or Bust, on the 1st of December. The album will be the band’s first without founding guitarist Malcolm Young who is suffering from dementia and will not return to the band.

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