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Phil Rudd, AC/DC Drummer, Murder Plot Charge Dropped

11/06/2014 10:22 EST | Updated 11/06/2014 10:59 EST
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DERBY, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 11: Phil Rudd of AC/DC performs on stage on the first day of the Download Festival at Donington Park on June 11, 2010 in Derby, England. (Photo by Neil Lupin/Redferns)

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been cleared of a charge claiming he allegedly plotted to have two men killed, but he will still defend himself against a separate allegation.

Rudd's lawyer Paul Mabey issued a statement Thursday saying the charge of "attempting to procure murder" should "never have been laid." A day earlier, the the drummer was arrested at his home in New Zealand and accused of trying to hire a hit man.

The charge was withdrawn after Tauranga Crown Solicitor Greg Hollister-Jones found there was "insufficient evidence to justify [it]," Mabey said.

He added the decision to lay the charge was made by New Zealand Police without consult of the Crown Solicitor.

From the statement:

"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."

Though Rudd is no longer accused of plotting to kill, he still faces a charge of "threatening to kill" as well as possessing cannabis and methamphetamine.

He will defend himself against the threat charge, and "charges relating to any personal possession of drugs are minor," Mabey said.

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