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Guilty Leslie prepares for return home

Michelle Leslie after her sentence was announced. Photo: Reuters

A Bali court today found Australian model Michelle Leslie guilty of using ecstasy and sentenced her to three months jail, a period of custody she has already served.

A spokesman for Leslie, Sean Mulcahy, said her three-month sentence would end officially at midnight tonight (0300 AEDT tomorrow).

After paperwork is completed she could be freed at any time after that, but more likely it would be early next week before she could leave Indonesia.

Leslie arrived handcuffed and smiling at the Denpasar District Court to hear the verdict for her drugs case.

Prosecutors had asked three judges in the Denpasar District Court to convict her but only to impose a three-month prison term - a period she will have served by tomorrow night.

The 24-year-old Adelaide-born woman was arrested on August 20 outside a Bali dance party allegedly carrying two ecstasy pills.

Her Australian lawyer Ross Hill says his client should never have been arrested or charged.

He says that once Leslie is released, it will take a few days to tie up some official loose ends so she can leave Indonesia.

Leslie was jostled by waiting media as she was led into the courthouse after being forced to walk through a large puddle of water outside the building.

Appearing in the same Denpasar court complex today will be Bali Nine defendants Renae Lawrence of Newcastle and Myuran Sukumaran of Sydney.


Mr Hill said Leslie had never been in trouble with the law before and would now try to rebuild her good name.

The three-judge panel said Leslie had been found "legally and convincingly" guilty of using illegal drugs.

Leslie then told the court she accepted the verdict and shook hands with the judges, the prosecutors and then hugged her lawyers and supporters before being led away and taken back to jail.

"I am happy to be going home and telling everything and clearing my name," a beaming Leslie said as she was escorted through a crush of news crews.

The orderly unfolding of today'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 in Bali awaiting an appeal although her sentence has already been cut to 15 years.

Mr Mulcahy  said Leslie was innocent but her team had used the Indonesian legal system to win her early release.

He said her legal team was not yet able to discuss the "real facts" of the matter.

"But at some point when she returns to Australia, the true facts of the matter will come out," Mulcahy told Sky TV.

"We have seen in history that these things have played out in a different way when people have claimed innocence, certainly in Indonesia.

"We didn't have all the evidence at hand and therefore we played it out with the cards we were dealt with.

"She was facing the possibility of 15 years in prison. I think it'd be only a fool to rock that system and it's best that she received the three months and she can return home at the next available opportunity and she can clear her name."

Mulcahy denied the judges had been bribed in the case, saying allegations of payoffs were "utter rubbish" and "baseless".

  • Michelle Leslie Case Information

  • Leslie plans swift Indonesia exit

    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 jail.

    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 Kerobokan Prison.

    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 ($A0.14).

    Prosecutors had originally demanded a 15-year jail term for drugs possession.

    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 court.

    "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 during trial.

    "The defendant is still young and has no prior criminal record, has been well-behaved and conveyed her regret in front of court," he said.

    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 tougher sentence.

    He said the defence team wanted to track down Mia - the friend Leslie has said gave her the tablets but who has since disappeared.

    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.

    Australian Model Michelle Leslie to be Freed From Bali Jail

    Australian model Michelle Leslie will be freed from a Bali jail after being found guilty of possessing prohibited drugs and sentenced to three months in prison. She has been in custody since her arrest almost three months.

    Leslie, 24 was arrested Aug. 19 outside a dance party in Kuta and faced up to 15 years in jail for the offence of carrying two ecstasy tablets. Leslie, from Sydney, was ordered to pay legal costs of 1,000 Indonesian rupiah (10 U.S. cents).

    A Bali court in May sentenced former Brisbane beauty school student Schapelle Corby to 20 years jail for drug smuggling. Nine Australians accused by Indonesia of trying to smuggle heroin out of the holiday island of Bali are awaiting trial, where they face the death sentence.

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