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Drummer for AC/DC 'tried to hire killer'

The drummer for rock band AC/DC has been accused of trying to arrange two killings.

Phil Rudd made a brief appearance at the Tauranga District Court in his adopted home of New Zealand and was charged with attempting to procure murder, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

He was released on bail. One of the conditions is that he must not have any contact with anyone involved in the alleged plot.

Rudd was accused of trying to hire a hitman to carry out two killings.

The 60-year-old has also been charged with threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Rudd's lawyer Paul Mabey said he was still getting up to speed on the case.

Court staff said Rudd was due to make a second appearance on November 27. He has yet to enter a plea.

Rudd and the other members of AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. It calls them one of the best-loved and hardest-rocking bands in the world.

"Featuring guitarist Angus Young as their visual symbol and musical firebrand, they grew from humble origins in Australia to become an arena-filling phenomenon with worldwide popularity," said the Hall of Fame's biography.

Rudd first joined AC/DC in 1974, the year after it was started. He left in the 1980s, but rejoined again in the 1990s.

The band's albums include Highway to Hell, Back in Black, and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. In recent years, AC/DC became known as one of the few acts that refused to allow its music to be released digitally on iTunes. It finally relented in late 2012.


This year, the band announced that founding member Malcolm Young, brother of Angus, was leaving due to unspecified health reasons.

Australian-born Rudd first moved to New Zealand in 1983, when he left the band, and in 2011 bought a Tauranga restaurant he named Phil's Place.

The restaurant's website says it represents Rudd's long-held vision to "offer you fresh local food at affordable prices".