Rockers The Libertines have announced they will fulfil all their forthcoming live dates without bandmember Pete Doherty, who continues to battle drug addiction.

The TIME FOR HEROES group will play the concerts - mainly festival dates in Britain - without troubled Doherty. No mention has been made of anyone stepping in to replace the singer.

Doherty recently returned from Thailand, where he had a brief unsuccessful stay in a Buddhist rehabilitation centre, his third failed attempt to kick his addictions at a drug treatment clinic this year (04).

A Libertines statement reads: "It is with regret that The Libertines announce they are to continue without singer and guitarist Peter Doherty due to his well-known addiction problems, specifically with crack cocaine and heroin."

Singer and guitarist Carl Barat adds, "Peter is and always will be a Libertine and when he cleans up from his addictions he will be immediately welcomed back into the band.

"This decision is made with love and with no disregard to Peter and his problems. The other members of the band - Gary (POWELL), John (HASSALL) and myself - have come to this conclusion after three recent failed rehab attempts, all of which The Libertines have funded.

"Peter's erratic mental state worries us greatly and having him on tour would only compound his problems. We aim to complete all existing tour commitments without him."

Doherty yesterday (29JUN04) pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing an offensive weapon in London, after being stopped by police on 17 June (04) for a suspected driving offence, when they allegedly found a knife in his possession.

30/06/2004 14:04