AC/DC drummer charged with trying to arrange murders

The 60-year-old drummer for rock band AC/DC whose hits include ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ was accused yesterday of trying to arrange two killings as well as possession of drugs.

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.

The Bay of Plenty Times newspaper reported that the Australian-born Rudd was accused of trying to hire a hitman to carry out the two killings. Police raided Rudd’s home yesterday, according to the paper, and held him in custody until his court appearance.

A judge suppressed the names of the intended victims and the would-be hitman in the alleged plot, the newspaper said.

A publicist for the band could not be immediately reached for comment.

The drummer has also been charged with threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.

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

AC/DC was due to release the Rock or Bust album next month and had planned a world tour next year. It was unclear whether yesterday’s events would affect those plans.

According to the biography, Rudd first joined AC/DC in 1974, the year after it was started. Other reports indicate he left the band in 1983 but rejoined again in 1994.

The Bay of Plenty Times reported that Rudd first moved to New Zealand in 1983, during the period when he had 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 delivered by warm and friendly staff.”


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