Amber Heard to plead not guilty to illegally bringing Johnny Depp's dogs to Australia
Amber Heard plans to plead not guilty to charges of sneaking her and husband Johnny Depp’s dogs into Australia illegally in May.
In a statement released by her lawyer, Heard announced that she will fight charges of illegal importation and falsifying documents, although she respects “the importance of Australian laws,” NBC News reports.
“My decision to defend these charges, as will become apparent in the appropriate forum of the Court, is not intended in any way to diminish the importance of Australia’s laws,” she said in the statement.
Heard, 29, was accused of sneaking her and Depp’s two Yorkshire terriers – named Pistol and Boo – into Australia on a private jet earlier this year, breaking the country’s biosecurity laws.
Once it was discovered that the couple allegedly broke the law, politician Barnaby Joyce threatened to euthanize the dogs unless Depp, 52, and Heard returned the terriers to the U.S. within 72 hours.
The actress said she is willing to testify in court proceedings, and lawyers indicated that Depp is allowed to appear as long as his presence is not “disruptive to the court,” according to the British newspaper, the Telegraph.
If found guilty, Heard could face up to 10 years in prison and a $75,000 fine for the two counts of illegal importation, as well as up to one year in prison and a $7,500 fine for the alleged false documentation, an official previously told PEOPLE.
A court hearing to determine a date for the case is schedule for Dec. 15, according to the Telegraph.