Amber Heard “faces up to ten years in jail in Australia”

Posted: December 16, 2015 in Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Image copyright AP The couple were in Australia while Mr Depp filmed the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

A date has now 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 amusingly 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 has confirmed 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 in the ecologically diverse but fragile country, dogs entering from the US must be declared and have to spend 10 days in quarantine.

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 – who is known for his blunt and populist style – 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.

We don't imagine Ms Heard would have any difficulty fitting in at Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre at Wacol, Brisbane.

We don’t imagine Ms Heard would have any difficulty fitting in at Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre at Wacol, Brisbane.

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.

It would be easy to laugh at the nonsenical overtones of the matter, but that is to mask what is, for Australians, considered a very important issue. Struggling to this day with the deletrious effects of innumerable species of flora and fauna introduced by well-meaning but misguided predecessors, Australian society is near-fanatical about protecting its eco-system and thus its quarantine procedures.

Until the advent of better air filtration systems on modern jetliners, for example, arriving in Australia by plane was always accompanied by a cabin attendant walking through the plane from rear to front spraying the entire passenger complement with insecticide. Bins at Australian airports are regularly filled with tourist trinkets made of wood, skins or other bio-hazardous items.

If she’s guilty – and we would never assume or pre-judge such a matter before the courts – then in our opinion, Miss Heard would do well to “cop it sweet” as Aussies say, and cheerfully cough up whatever fine will (probably) be levied, accompanied by a fulsome apology. Any more whingeing and that other famed Aussie characteristic – cutting down the tall poppy – will rapidly be evidenced.

 

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Comments
  1. tulipels says:

    The arrogance of the very rich, and we have plenty local ones!

    Like

  2. Pat says:

    The rich are not above the law – even though they and their lawyers would like to think so. If guilty she should go to gaol.

    Like

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