AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of threatening to kill and possession of drugs.
The plea was entered by Rudd’s lawyer, Paul Mabey QC, as the 60-year-old was excused from appearing in Tauranga District Court today (December 2).
Rudd faces charges of threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. The former carries a maximum sentence of seven years in jail in Rudd’s adopted home of New Zealand.
The drummer was originally charged with attempting to procure the murder of two men, but the charge was dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Judge Tom Ingram said Rudd’s case is likely be heard at a judge-alone trial next year. Details of the complainant and three witnesses relating to the charge of threatening to kill will continue to be suppressed on the judge’s orders, following an application by Crown Prosecutor Greg Hollister-Jones, reports the New Zealand Herald.
The drummer made a bizarre court appearance in New Zealand on November 19, when it was reported that he jumped on the back of one of his security guards outside the courthouse, winked at journalists and drummed a rhythm on the dock.
Previously, the other members of AC/DC spoke out about the arrest, stating that Rudd must “get himself well”.
Guitarist Angus Young also stated that the band is still “committed to going forward and touring” new album ‘Rock Or Bust’, which was released on Monday (November 28).