Australian model Michelle Leslie is planning a swift exit from
Indonesia so she can "clear her name" after a Bali court found her
guilty of using ecstasy and sentenced her to three months in
Leslie could not keep the smile from her face as she hugged her
lawyers and shook hands with the trial's three judges and the
prosecutor after the decision.
Having already served three months in custody, her lawyers were
hoping she would be out of jail as early as Friday night and out of
the country within days.
"I'm happy to be going home and telling everything, and clearing
my name," Leslie said as she was rushed by minders through a camera
crush and bundled into a police van for her final trip back to
However late on Friday, they were frantically negotiating with
Indonesian justice and immigration officials about exactly when she
will be set free. Prosecutors suggested that she might have to stay
behind bars until Tuesday.
The three Denpasar District Court judges said Leslie had been
proven "legally and convincingly guilty" of using a prohibited
psychotropic drug and also fined her 1,000 Indonesian rupiah
Prosecutors had originally demanded a 15-year jail term for
But they reduced their demand to three months after Leslie's
defence team claimed the drugs had been given to her by a
mysterious friend named Mia, who told her they were medicine for
frequent anxiety attacks.
Her Australian lawyer Ross Hill renewed his attack on the
evidence against Leslie, hinting the trial - held amid rumours of a
police cover-up - had been a sham.
"This case should never have been brought, because the police
did not do a thorough and complete investigation," he said.
Hill said Leslie would reveal what "the real facts are" when she
was safely out of Indonesia.
Her story would be "very much different" to the version heard in
"The fact is there was a certain version presented by the police
to the court and there is another version supported by fact that
we'll be presenting in due course," Hill said.
The 24-year-old model was arrested on August 20 when police
found two ecstasy pills wrapped with tissue inside her designer
handbag on her way into an all-night rave party near Kuta.
But there have been persistent allegations that police hid the
fact that Leslie was with the sons of two powerful Indonesian
families - including millionaire Economics Minister Aburizal Bakrie
- on the night of her arrest. Neither were called as witnesses.
Hill said the evidence uncovered "wasn't the full truth", while
Leslie has claimed she was "absolutely terrified" during the entire
time since her arrest.
Judge I Gusti Ngurah Astawa said Leslie's sentence had been
relatively light because she had been honest, polite and remorseful
"The defendant is still young and has no prior criminal record,
has been well-behaved and conveyed her regret in front of court,"
Leslie sat quietly as the hour-long judgment.
Earlier she beamed as she was escorted into the court complex,
despite being dragged through a media scrum and a deep puddle.
Hill denied her upbeat appearance meant that she knew the
decision in advance.
Indonesia's media has alleged that the outcome had been wrapped
up with hefty bribes to the court officials and prosecutors.
"Justice wasn't for sale in this case," he said.
"She's been most nervous because no-one knew, contrary to many
reports, what the decision would have been."
Leslie's sentence would be completed by midnight Friday Bali
time and she would leave Indonesia as soon as paperwork could be
completed, he said.
But chief prosecutor Risman Tarihoran said it was impossible for
Leslie to leave so soon.
"We asked for three months, not 90 days, so my calculation is
she should be freed on the 22nd (Tuesday)," he said.
Hill said if Leslie had told the full story during her trial,
she could have risked putting her "head on the block" and getting a
He said the defence team wanted to track down Mia - the friend
Leslie has said gave her the tablets but who has since
Hill said the defence team wanted "to talk" with Mia.
"We'll be seeing you," he said.
Hill refused to comment on whether "the truth" would be
available only for a hefty price of up to $A600,000, saying the
stories were "rubbish".
Once home, Leslie would "rest, relax, spend some time with
friends and loved ones, and think about what she is going to do
with her life from this point in time", he said.
The orderly unfolding of Friday's hearing contrasted markedly
with the pandemonium that broke out in the same court earlier this
year when Gold Coast woman Schapelle Corby was sentenced to 20
years jail for smuggling 4.1kg cannabis into Bali.
Corby remains behind bars awaiting an appeal although her
sentence has already been cut to 15 years.