AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been charged with attempting to procure a murder by New Zealand police after he allegedly tried to have two men killed.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Rudd appeared in Tauranga District Court Thursday afternoon after police raided Rudd’s home in the early morning hours and took the drummer into custody.
He is also charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of cannabis and threatening to kill.
The names of the two men and the intended hitman were not revealed to the media.
Rudd entered no plea and was released on bail; he’ll be back in court in three weeks.
If convicted, the drummer could face up to 10 years in jail.
In early October, Rudd was noticeably absent from an AC/DC video shoot in London as the band filmed clips for the title track to their forthcoming album, “Rock Or Bust”, as well as the project’s lead single, “Play Ball.”
The band brought in Bob Richards (Shogun, Adrian Smith Band) to handle drum duties for the shoot, with singer Brian Johnson telling fans that Rudd had been called away at the last minute to deal with a family emergency.
Due December 2, “Rock Or Bust” is the first AC/DC album in 6 years and first without founding member Malcolm Young, who retired from the group to deal with ongoing health issues related to dementia.
Angus and Malcolm’s nephew, Stevie, handled rhythm guitar duties on the album and will join the band for a world tour next year.
AC/DC released a statement on events Thursday, saying, “We've only become aware of Phil's arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock or Bust and upcoming tour next year.”
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