After three terrifying months Michelle Leslie is planning a
swift flight to freedom and a reunion with her boyfriend and family
in Australia - but with her release from a Bali jail just days away
the model could face the final indignity of being deported.
Long journey: Michelle Leslie and Renae Lawrence are escorted to their respective drug trials in Denpasar on Friday
After a dramatic week following revelations in The
Sun-Herald linking Leslie to the son of a senior Indonesian
minister, it now appears she will be freed within two weeks and her
legal team is anxious to get her out of the country as quickly as
"She is desperate to return home and we will be leaving at the
first available opportunity so she can be reunited with her family
and boyfriend," Leslie's spokesman in Bali, Sean Mulcahy, said.
But Australian consular officials say it is unlikely Leslie's
camp will have much control over her departure.
The vice-consul in Denpasar, Brian Diamond, said "standard
procedure" for a foreign tourist being released from prison was to
be handed from prison authorities to immigration officials, taken
to the airport and held there until the first available fight
Leslie's desire for a quick departure was highlighted on Friday,
after she gave testimony at her trial for possession of two ecstasy
In a statement later, Leslie said she had been "absolutely
terrified" since her arrest in August outside a dance party in
Last week, Bali newspapers reported that Leslie, 24, was with
the son of a senior Government official when she was arrested, and
that the truth of her arrest had been covered up to protect
The Sun-Herald revealed that the official in question was
the Indonesian Economics Minister Aburizal Bakrie, who is also a
In an extraordinary week, the Bakrie family at first denied that
they even knew Leslie, then admitted through a lawyer that one of
Mr Bakrie's son's, Anindra, 24, "probably" met her on the night of
the dance party but was not with her when she was arrested.
The Bakries had threatened legal action against The
Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age for publishing allegations
they initially described as "rubbish" and "character
When Leslie gave evidence at her trial on Friday, the Bakrie
link was the elephant in the room: neither Leslie, her lawyers nor
prosecutors mentioned it.
But Leslie did testify that, along with her friend Mia, who has
since disappeared, there were three men in the car with her.
She said she did not know their names. But after she was caught,
Mia had said to her: "Whatever you do don't say anything, don't
tell on anyone and if anything happens we will fix it."
But prosecutors did not press Leslie for further details. After
the hearing, they said blood and urine tests showing a positive
result to ecstasy proved Leslie was a drug user.
This means she can face an alternative charge carrying a maximum
three-month jail term - rather than the 15 years possible for
Prosecutors indicated that at her next appearance on Tuesday,
they would ask for the lesser term - and with her having already
served almost three months, she is likely to be freed from prison
within days of that hearing.
Leslie has not seen her boyfriend, Scott Sutton, or her parents
since her arrest. Mr Sutton said in an interview two months ago
that Leslie was "the absolute love" of his life.
Source: The Sun-Herald
Michelle Leslie Case Information