Arrest warrant issued briefly for AC/DC's Rudd

Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd stands in the dock as faces charges at the High Court in Tauranga, New Zealand on November 26, 2014.

A warrant was briefly issued for the arrest of AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd yesterday when he failed to arrive on time at a New Zealand court to face a threatening to kill charge.

It was withdrawn about 15 minutes later when the 60-year-old eventually made a brief and flamboyant appearance at the High Court in the North Island coastal city of Tauranga.

He entered no plea to the charges of threatening to kill and possession of cannabis and methamphetamine and was remanded on bail.

An initial charge of attempting to procure the murder of two men was previously withdrawn.

His lawyer Paul Mabey has said Rudd would defend the threatening to kill charge and described the drugs charges as "minor".

He said the case had attracted sensational worldwide publicity and Rudd had suffered "incalculable damage" and would consider "any possible remedies he may have".

Rudd put on a show for the gallery during his appearance, winking at the media and tapping a rhythm on the dock.

Outside the court, he jumped on his security guard's back and made rude gestures before being driven away in a sports car.

The Australian-born Rudd has lived in Tauranga for several years since first moving to New Zealand in 1983.

Under New Zealand law, threatening to kill can attract a seven-year sentence.

AC/DC, which was founded by Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia in 1973, is one of the biggest-selling bands in history.

The group has just released a new album Rock Or Bust, and plans to back its launch with a global tour in 2015, although their line-up is unclear with legal issues hanging over Rudd.