After appearing in court on a charge of “attempting to procure a murder,” for which he entered no plea—along with a series of drug charges stemming from cannabis and methamphetamine allegedly found in his home—Rudd was cleared of the murder-for-hire charge by New Zealand prosecutors. According to a statement released by the Tauranga Crown Solicitor’s office, “there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the charge of attempting to procure murder.”
Rudd’s lawyer, Paul Mabey, lost no time in pointing fingers at the police over the incident, claiming that the Crown Solicitor was not consulted before the arrest was made and charges were brought. “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,” he said. “The damage to Mr. Rudd is incalculable.”
Rudd still faces other charges, the most serious of which is threatening to kill, which could still earn the drummer up to seven years in prison if convicted. The drug possession charges also remain. Mabey refers to the drug charges as “minor,” and claims the drummer will defend himself against the threatening to kill charge.
The only statement made by the band came Thursday after Rudd’s arrest, in which they said the incident would not halt their upcoming album release, nor their scheduled tour.