On August 21, 2005 two pills were found in Leslie's Gucci handbag during a visit to the Indonesian island of Bali. Subsequent tests by Indonesian police proved they were Ecstasy. She had been attending an open-air dance party at Kuta beach. This makes the third major arrest of an Australian in Bali on Drugs charges in 2005 following the Schapelle Corby and Bali Nine cases. According to Indonesian police Leslie has admitted that the pills were given to her by a friend. Her charge sheet stated that she had purchased them in Bali. She faces a maximum of fifteen years in jail.
The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard has described any Australian with drugs in Asia as "stupid" and says they should not expect the Australian government to save them. He also said,
We have told Australians - young Australians - again and again, don't take drugs out of this country, don't take them into Asian countries because you can't expect any mercy. Now we'll keep pushing that message but people have to understand that if they defy that, and they get caught with drugs, they can't expect the Government to bail them out.
According to Indonesian police Leslie has admitted to an addiction to Ecstasy. In a signed statement given to the police she is supposed to have said "I'm addicted to it. I can't enjoy parties if I don't have ecstasy". In the meantime her lawyers have said,
While we do respect the position of the police and the statement attributed to them by the media, any comment said to be made by Ms Leslie must be considered in their full and detailed context
At this stage the defence team is not prepared to provide the detailed version from our client until the appropriate stage in the proceedings
The response of Ms Leslie to this leak has been to sack her high profile Indonesian defence lawyer M. H. Rifan and replace him with Dr K. R. T. Basuki Prawirodipuro.
In another development, Michelle Leslie declared herself a Muslim on August 29 and asked the media to respect her privacy.
On 14 October 2005 the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Leslie may be released within weeks as a report from a Sydney doctor has been provided to prosecutors stating that she is addicted to prescription medication. Under Indonesian law this would allow her to be tried as a "user" and benefit from a reduced sentence. The maximum senetence for a user is 3-months imprisonment, whereas the maximum penalty for possession is 15 years. Leslie's case is expected to be heard some time in November.