Rudd was accused of hiring a hit man to kill two men and was charged with an attempt to procure murder in addition to three other charges: threatening to kill, possession of cannabis and possession of methamphetamine. But after making his appearance in a New Zealand courtroom on Thursday, the charges for attempted murder have been dropped.
According to the Washington Post, Rudd's lawyer, Paul Mabey QC, revealed that the charge was dropped because there was a lack of evidence.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Mabey revealed, "I was advised by the 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 He has now withdrawn the charge."
Mabey also said the charge alleging an attempt to procure murder "should never have been laid."
"The Crown Solicitors (sic) opinion was not sought," he continued. "The charge is now withdrawn — within 24 hours of Mr. Rudd's first appearance in Court."
Mabey went on to explain that his client had "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," he added.
Rudd entered no plea to the charges and will next appear in court again on Nov. 27.
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