AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd charged with attempting to procure murders

Phil Rudd leaving the Tauranga District Court today. Photo / George Novak
Phil Rudd leaving the Tauranga District Court today. Photo / George Novak

Update 7/11/14: Lawyer for AC/DC Phil Rudd says charge of attempting to procure a murder has been withdrawn

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been charged with attempting to procure the murders of two people.

The 60-year-old Australian-born musician appeared in court this afternoon after his home in Tauranga was raided by police this morning.

Rudd, who was dressed in jeans and a grey jersey, was also charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of cannabis and threatening to kill.

He did speak when he appeared in the dock and entered no plea to the charges. He has been bailed until his next appearance on November 27.

Rudd, who had been in custody since the police raid on his house, was ordered to have no contact with the man he allegedly tried to hire to carry out the two hits. Judge Louis Bidois suppressed the names of the alleged intended victims and the alleged hitman.

Rudd did not seek name suppression but his lawyer, Tony Rickard-Simms, had asked Judge Bidois to deny the media permission to film Rudd in court, arguing that they simply wanted to get photos of him "at his worst". Judge Bidois refused the request.

Rudd was seen leaving court in a silver Mercedes sedan driven by a blonde woman. He refused to speak to gathered media.

Rudd has lived in Tauranga for a number of years. He moved to New Zealand in 1983 after being sacked from the band.

Ex-manager Michael Browning told Daily Mail Australia that the charge was a "bit of a shock, but there you go".

Rudd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 along with the other members of AC/DC.

In 2011 he bought a restaurant at Tauranga's Bridge Marina and called it Phil's Place. It closed temporarily in 2012 but reopened in April this year.

AC/DC are gearing up to release their first new album later this month, called Rock or Bust, the follow-up to their eight-million selling 2008 chart topper Black Ice.

Rudd leaves court this afternoon, driven by a blonde woman. He was also charged with drugs possession. Photo / George Novak

It will be the first AC/DC album in the band's history without founder member and guitarist Malcolm Young, who is battling dementia.

Rudd released a solo album called Head Job in September, recorded with Kiwi musicians Allan Badger of Rotorua, and Geoffrey Martin of Auckland.

Phil Rudd, pictured earlier this year in Tauranga, has been a resident of New Zealand since the early Eighties. Photo / George Novak

- Bay of Plenty Times

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