A leading animal-rights activist has been accused of lying to a grand jury investigating an arson at a timber company and the theft of chickens from an egg farm in Washington state.

Allison Lance-Watson (search), 45, was released Wednesday for a preliminary hearing next month.

She was charged with making false statements to the grand jury when she denied lending a truck to other activists. Investigators believe the vehicle was used in the arson.

She could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Lance-Watson's lawyer, Stuart A. Sugarman, said the allegations were extremely one-sided," adding, "The truth will come out."

The grand jury is investigating two attacks cited in statements issued by the shadowy Earth Liberation Front (search) and the Animal Liberation Front (search).

One case involved a fire set at the headquarters of a timber company in Olympia. The other involved the removal of 228 chickens from an egg farm in Burlington, Wash. Both incidents took place in 2000.

After the fire, employees of a convenience store saw occupants of a rental truck discard plastic bags containing dark clothing, ski masks, gloves and a wrapper from a pair of bolt cutters, according to the FBI.

Authorities say a store surveillance camera showed the truck had the same license plate as one that Lance-Watson and her husband had rented.