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Phil Rudd pleads not guilty to New Zealand charges

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AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has pleaded not guilty to charges of threatening to kill and possession of drugs.

Phil Rudd, 60, was excused from appearing in New Zealand’s Tauranga District Court, with his lawyer entering his plea.

The Australian-born musician was originally charged with attempting to procure the murder of two men.

That charge was dropped because of a lack of evidence.Phil Rudd New Zealand charges

In an earlier ruling, the names of the alleged murder targets and that of the alleged hit-man were suppressed.

Crown prosecutor Greg Hollister-Jones on December 2 applied for witness names and any statements they made to be suppressed, according to New Zealand media outlet stuff.co.nz.

The court agreed but ruled that because of strong public interest in the case, details of the charges and a summary of facts should be released by the Crown.

Phil Rudd remains on bail and his case will be called again in February.

The drummer was kicked out of AC/DC in 1983 and rejoined in 1994.