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AC/DC Drummer Charged With Murder Plot in New Zealand

Phil Rudd, the drummer for rock band AC/DC, leaves a courthouse after being charged with attempting to procure murder in Tauranga, New Zealand, Nov. 6, 2014.

The drummer for the legendary rock band AC/DC has been charged by New Zealand authorities with hiring a hitman as part of an alleged murder plot.

Phil Rudd appeared before a court in Tauranga, about 200 kilometers southeast of Auckland, Thursday and entered no plea before being released on bail.

The 60-year-old was charged with attempting to procure murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. He was also charged with threatening to kill and possessing methamphetamine and marijuana.

Alleged murder plot

Local media report Rudd was trying to hire a hitman to kill two men whose identities have not been disclosed. Police have not commented on the alleged murder plot.

The Australia-born Rudd, who now lives in New Zealand, left AC/DC in 1983, but rejoined the band in 1994.

AC/DC is one of the highest-grossing bands of all time, with hit songs that include "Back in Black," "Thunderstruck," and "You Shook Me All Night Long."

The band is due to release a new album, titled "Rock or Bust" next month.

Earlier this year, the band announced that rhythm guitarist and founding member Malcom Young was leaving the group. His family said Young, 61, was suffering from dementia.

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