Australian trial over ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star Johnny Depp's dogs not yet over

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Johnny Depp
Cast member Johnny Depp and his actress wife Amber Heard arrive for the British premiere of the film "Black Mass" in London, Britain October 11, 2015. Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

Amber Heard was previously accused of smuggling their Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo into  Australia on a private jet when she visited Johnny Depp, who was filming “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” She has pleaded not guilty and announced that she will fight the charges in a trial in 2016 on a date yet to be set.

In July, Heard was charged with one count of producing a false document to quarantine officials and two counts of illegally importing the dogs into Australia. If convicted, she could be penalised with heavy fines and spend 10-years in prison.

In a statement obtained by ABC News, Heard said she instructed her lawyer to plead not guilty to Australia’s biosecurity breaches . She said, “My decision to defend these charges, as will become apparent in the appropriate forum of the Court, is not intended to in any way diminish the importance of Australia's laws.”

On Dec. 7, Monday, Depp’s wife failed to appear for the latest hearing at the Southport Magistrates Court in Queensland state. According to a court official, the case was adjourned until Dec. 15.

During the hearing, lawyers asked for the matter to proceed to a summary hearing. Lawyers for Heard want the hearing to take place early in 2016 but it could be delayed because of a backlog of court cases and trouble contacting witnesses. In 2016, Heard will face a five-day court hearing and she is looking forward to attending court to clear her name. Her husband is likely to be called as a witness, according to Courier Mail.

Depp has finished filming “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” in which he reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow with Orlando Bloom as Will Turner and Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar. Directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, the sequel will hit theatres in Australia on July 6, 2017.

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