Entertainment & Arts

Johnny Depp's wife Amber Heard gets 'dog smuggling' court date

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Image copyright AP
Image caption The couple were in Australia while Mr Depp filmed the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

A date has been set for Johnny Depp's wife Amber Heard to face a court trial in Australia for allegedly smuggling her two dogs into the country.

The case, which has been dubbed the "war on terrier", will be heard on 18 April in Queensland.

The actress is facing two counts of knowingly importing a prohibited product in breach of the Quarantine Act.

A court official told AFP that Heard is required to appear at the hearing.

Heard came under fire for failing to declare Pistol and Boo, the couple's Yorkshire terriers, to authorities on their arrival in Brisbane in April.

Under strict Australian laws designed to keep disease at bay, dogs entering from the US must be declared and have to spend 10 days in quarantine.

Hefty fine

The case sparked global attention after the terriers were threatened with death by Australia's Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, unless they went "back to the United States".

Mr Joyce said he did not care if Depp had been voted the "sexiest man alive", he still had to adhere to quarantine rules.

The animals, which had allegedly travelled by private jet to Queensland, where Depp was filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, were quickly whisked out of the country as the story hit the headlines.

In July she was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs into Australia and one count of producing a false document.

Penalties range from a hefty fine to more than 10 years in prison.

An earlier hearing set for September was adjourned.

After the incident in May, Heard vowed never to return to Australia, although reports earlier this month said she "respected Australia's laws" and was looking forward to "attending the hearing of these matters".

Twelve witnesses are listed to give evidence but it is not known whether Depp is one of them.

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