The Australian-born musician is also accused of possessing the drugs methamphetamine and cannabis, and of making threats to kill.

Rudd, 60, was arrested on Thursday morning during a raid on his waterfront house in Tauranga, on New Zealand’s North Island.

During a brief court appearance at Tauranga District Court – during which he wore no shoes – Rudd was released on bail to appear again in court on November 27. He did not enter a plea to the charges.

The charge of attempting to ‘procure’ a murder carries a jail sentence of up to 10 years in New Zealand. The court was told that Rudd had tried to hire a hitman to kill two men, but the judge ruled that neither their names nor that of the alleged assassin could be revealed.

Rudd moved to New Zealand in 1983 after being kicked out of AC/DC, but he rejoined the hard rock group in 1994.

AC/DC are due to release a new album – ‘Rock Or Bust’ – in Australia at the end of November. However, Rudd did not appear in a new photo of band members released last month to promote the album, sparking rumours of another rift.

AC/DC were formed by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in 1973, and their top hits include ‘Highway to Hell’, ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, ‘Back in Black’, “Hell’s Bells’ and ‘Dirty Deeds Done Cheap’.

Rudd’s first solo album, ‘Head Job’, was released in August.