Australian authorities can enlist the help of the FBI as they investigate claims Amber heard possible perjury six years ago in a Queensland court.
A former agency special agent told… law and crime it is common for Australian investigators to liaise with their US counterparts, and such collaboration would be likely in this case, as the relevant witnesses all “live abroad”.
The 36-year-old actress, who lost a high-profile libel lawsuit against her ex-husband last month Johnny Deppis the subject of an ongoing perjury inquiry in connection with legal proceedings arising from her visit to Queensland with Depp in 2015, when she violated Australia’s strict quarantine and biosecurity laws by failing to declare the Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, at her arrival in the country.
Heard was charged twice in July 2015 with illegally importing the animals; however, the case was closed when she pleaded guilty to forging travel documents in a Gold Coast court in April 2016.
But the actress’s dog-trafficking saga was revived in October 2021, when it was revealed exclusively by DailyMail.com that Australian officials were investigating Heard for perjury over claims she lied to authorities about the circumstances in which her dogs were brought into the country. †
Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment confirmed last week that the case was “ongoing” and told Daily Mail Australia that it was still “investigating allegations of perjury by Ms Heard during legal proceedings for the illegal importation into 2015 from [her] two dogs to Australia’.
Australian authorities may ask the FBI for help investigating allegations that Amber Heard (pictured with her ex-husband Johnny Depp in Toronto, Canada, on September 14, 2015) may have committed perjury in a Queensland court six years ago
Heard faced two counts of knowingly importing a banned product into the country in 2015. (Pictured: the Yorkshire terriers at the center of the incident, Pistol and Boo)
Perjury carries a maximum jail term of 14 years, while the latest offense can lead to a seven-year stretch under Queensland criminal law.
The Australian government is unlikely to attempt to extradite Heard, but she could nevertheless be arrested if she tries to re-enter the country.
All witnesses involved in the case ‘live abroad’.
Bobby Chacon, a retired FBI special agent and attorney, said Monday: “The FBI has an office in Canberra and FBI agents are permanently assigned to Australia. [on a rotating basis]†
“Part of their mission is connection and assistance, so if the Australians needed anything from here in the US, they would definitely contact the Australian office of the FBI and the FBI would probably help.”
The department’s perjury investigation stems from testimony given by a former Depp employee during his 2020 UK libel suit against The Sun newspaper.
Depp’s former estate manager Kevin Murphy raised eyebrows Down Under when he told a London court that Heard had ordered him to lie under oath after she flew the pets to Queensland on a private jet without reporting them.
Gun and Boo should have been declared at customs and placed in 10-day quarantine, but their arrival went undetected for several weeks until a groomer posted snaps of the cuddly couple on Facebook.
Depp and Heard were given 72 hours to send the dogs home or they would have to be seized and euthanized.
Heard eventually pleaded guilty to the lower charge of forging an immigration document and accepted a $10,000 Australian dollar ($7,650) fine after her attorney, Jeremy Kirk, insisted that the paperwork for the dogs “slipped through the cracks” and that there is ‘no attempt at deception’.
Kirk said Heard thought her then-husband’s staff had filled out the paperwork and were exhausted and sleep deprived when she checked the wrong box on her arrival card.
The Aquaman actress, 36, is the subject of an ‘ongoing’ perjury investigation in Australia over legal proceedings arising from her visit to Queensland with Depp in 2015 when the pair violated Australian biosafety laws by using their Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo not to declare. † (Heard and Depp are seen out of court on the Gold Coast on April 18, 2016)
Heard was charged twice in July of that year for illegally importing the animals, but the case was closed when she pleaded guilty to falsifying travel documents in April 2016. She and Depp also recorded an apology video (pictured) in which she expressed regret for her actions
Heard and Depp also released a video statement expressing regret for her actions.
The images were widely mocked on social media and some fans said the couple looked like they had been kidnapped and held for ransom.
Heard’s version of events went unchallenged until July 2020, when Depp’s former estate manager told the London High Court in a written statement that he had repeatedly warned the actress about Australia’s strict animal entry rules.
“I also heard from Ms several times that it was illegal to bring the dogs to Australia without completing the mandatory procedure and could result in very severe penalties, including euthanizing the dogs,” Murphy said.
He went on to allege that when the smuggling controversy erupted, Heard demanded that he submit a “false statement” to the Australian court stating that she was unaware of the requirements.
“When I said I was extremely uncomfortable with this, Mrs. Heard said to me, ‘Well, I want your help with this… I wouldn’t want you to have a problem with your job.’
“It became very clear that Ms Heard was threatening my job stability unless I cooperated in providing a statement supporting her false account of the Australian proceeding.
“This made me feel extreme pressure to cooperate, even though I knew it would be untruth,” added Murphy, who spent eight years with Depp.
The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment said last week it was “investigating allegations of perjury by Ms Heard during legal proceedings for the 2015 illegal importation of [her] two dogs to Australia.’ The spokesperson confirmed that the matter was “ongoing”. (Pictured: Heard outside a Fairfax, Virginia, court on May 27)
Heard must pay Depp $10.35 million after a US court found she defamed the 59-year-old actor by describing herself as a victim of domestic violence in an op-ed she wrote
Murphy later confirmed to DailyMail.com that he had been contacted by the FBI and that he had agreed to provide a witness statement to Australian authorities. He declined to comment further.
News of Heard’s pending perjury suit comes just weeks after she was ordered to pay her ex-husband $10.35 million in damages after a Virginia court found she defamed the actor by naming herself a survivor. of domestic violence in an opinion piece she wrote.
Depp sued Heard, who he was married to from 2015 to 2017, over an article she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as “a public figure who represents domestic violence.”
The jury ruled in favor of Depp on all three of his allegations related to specific statements in the play.
The jury found that Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge reduced the damages to $350,000 under a state limit.
Heard has said she plans to appeal the verdict.
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