Johnny Depp’s dogs: Australia’s deputy PM threatens actor with ‘perjury’ investigation

Barnaby Joyce says government will examine whether it can take farther legal action after tale of dogs Pistol and Boo

Australias deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, has said the government will examine whether Johnny Depp committed perjury by smuggling puppies into the country while knowing it was illegal.

The saga of Pistol and Boo, the Yorkshire terriers who infamously landed the then Hollywood couple in discord in 2015, took another twist with allegations by Depps former administrators that he was fully aware that he was illegally bringing his puppies to Australia.

However, legal sources instantly poured cold water on Joyces suggestion, telling the Guardian that Depp could not be charged with perjury when he made no representations in the Australian court case.

Depps former wife Amber Heard paid a $ 1,000 fine last year after pleading guilty to making a false customs declaration that she had no animals, in what a Gold Coast magistrate accepted was a paperwork bungle involving a disgruntled Depp staffer.

But in legal filings in a US dispute with Depp, the Management working group( TMG) alleged Depp falsely claimed to authorities and in public press interviews that the incident was a big misunderstanding because he supposedly believed his personnel had obtained the necessary paperwork.

When confronted by Australian authorities, Depp pressured one of his long-term employees to take the autumn, TMG alleged in newspapers obtained by People.

Barnaby Joyce threatens to put down Johnny Depps dogs, allegedly brought into Australia illegally

Joyce, who publicly traded barbs with Depp after threatening to have the dogs killed unless they were returned to the US, said the government would have a look at whether it could take farther legal action in response to the fresh allegations.

If the allegation is correct, there is a word for that it is called perjury, Joyce told ABC on Tuesday. That is another question that, if that was true, Mr Depp would have to answer for.

It doesnt matter if you think that youre Mr Whos Who of Hollywood, youre going to obey our laws.

Joyce separately told News Corp, If the allegations that have been made against him are correct, and Im not saying if they are or arent, then that would be perjury.

However, sources including a commonwealth lawyer said if Depp had attained no sworn statements in the case, that ruled out a perjury charge.

The relevant law, section 43 of the Crimes Act, stimulates it an offence if the person attempts to obstruct, to avoid, to debase or to defeat the course of justice in relation to a judicial power.

Depp accompanied Heard to the court and appeared in a widely lambasted hostage video apology that was played before the magistrate but gave no sworn evidence.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard record bizarre apology for bringing dogs to Australia

Michael Cope, a prominent Brisbane solicitor, said: It wouldnt be perjury.

He didnt get charged at all and if hes not said anything to anybody, either in a courtroom or filling in a form where hes provided a statutory declaration, or similar document, then I dont assure where hes perpetrated any offence.

And shes pleaded guilty to the offence thats been committed. So whats the phase then?

Heard originally faced criminal charges of illegally importing animals, which carried a maximum penalty of 10 years incarcerate, but these were dismissed by the Gold Coast magistrate Bernadette Callaghan.

Heard had six months earlier be submitted to plead to the false customs declaration in return for the fell of the most serious charges but commonwealth prosecutors, acting on instruction from Joyces agriculture department, repudiated the offer.

Depp once referred to Joyce as some kind of sweaty, big-gutted human from Australia. Joyce in turn taunted the conviction of Depps performance in the apology video.

The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, dedicated a playful response when asked if he would stand between his deputy a former bush accountant with a colourful turn of phrase and Depp by giving the Hollywood star a forgivenes.

The pirate fulfills the cowboy … maybe they could make a movie together, Turnbull said on Triple M radio.

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