Phil Rudd: AC/DC drummer charged with attempting to procure murder

The musician has been freed on bail until 27 November

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The Independent Online

Phil Rudd, drummer of AC/DC, has been charged with attempting to arrange a murder.

The Australian musician has additionally been charged with possessing the drugs methamphetamine and cannabis, as well as making threats to kill, after his house in Tauranga on the North Island of New Zealand was raided this morning.

He appeared in in Tauranga district court in today, and was released on bail until 27 November. As part of the bail conditions, he must not have any contact with anyone involved in the alleged murder plot. He did not enter a plea during his brief court appearance.

Rudd is accused of attempting to hire one person to kill two men between 25 September and 26 September.

He is also accused of threatening to kill a complainant on 26 September.

A judge ruled that the name of the alleged targets and hitman cannot be released.

An attempt to procure murder carries a sentence of up to 10 years in New Zealand.

AC/DC are due to release a new album, Rock or Bust, on 23 November, although Rudd has been absent from two video shoots.

The band released the following statement regarding the charges:

"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."

He also does not feature in the first picture the band has released to promote their new material, prompting speculation that he had left the group.