Johnny Depp’s wife Amber Heard will face trial in Australia in April for allegedly smuggling two dogs into the country in a case dubbed the “war on terrier”, a court ruled Tuesday. Heard is facing two counts of knowingly importing a prohibited product in breach of the Quarantine Act.
The trial was set down for April 18 at Southport magistrates court on the Gold Coast in Queensland state with a court official saying the actress was required to appear at the hearing. 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. The case sparked global attention after the terriers, Pistol and Boo, were threatened with death by Australia’s agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce unless they “buggered off back to the United States”.
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. Under strict Australian laws designed to keep disease at bay, dogs entering from the United States must be declared and have to spend 10 days in quarantine.
Penalties for contravening the Quarantine Act range from fines to a maximum of 10 years in prison for the worst cases.