The drummer of legendary rock group AC/DC, Phil Rudd, has had a charge of attempting to procure a murder dropped.
He still faces charges of making threats to kill and drugs possession.
The dramatic about-face by New Zealand police on the murder plot accusation comes just one day after the AC/DC musician made global headlines following a raid at his North Island home.
Rudd appeared in court on Thursday following the raid and his arrest.
The AC/DC stalwart was released on bail afterwards. He was ordered by the court to not contact anyone involved in the alleged murder plot, as part of his bail conditions.
However, on Friday, lawyer Greg Hollister-Jones representing the prosecution admitted there was “insufficient evidence to proceed with the charge of attempting to procure murder”.
The drummer’s lawyer, Paul Mabey, has said the “charge alleging an attempt to procure murder should never have been laid”, claiming that Rudd had suffered “incalculable” damage from the global publicity surrounding the incident and allegations. Mabey added that he and his client would be reviewing “any possible remedies he (Rudd) may have”.
Mabey also said Rudd refutes the charge of make threats to kill and described the drugs charges as “minor”.
AC/DC management earlier issued a statement on behalf of the band assuring fans – and, no doubt, other interested parties – that the planned world tour in support of their about to be released new album Rock or Bust would not be affected by the events.
IMAGE: AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd leaves Tauranga District Court after being charged with attempting to procure murder, November 6, 2014, in New Zealand. (Photo by Joel Ford/Getty Images)