Cindy Wockner in Bali
POLICE have taken the first step toward having Australian model Michelle Leslie charged with drug offences, yesterday handing a brief of evidence against her to prosecutors in Bali.
On the front page of the 1.5cm thick dossier is a head and shoulders mug shot of Leslie taken recently by police, since she began wearing a black Muslim burqa-style headcovering.
Authorities have not backed off when it comes to the seriousness of the charges. They have recommended to prosecutors that the 24-year-old face two charges – a primary charge and a lesser subsidiary charge.
The primary charge, under article 59 of Indonesia's drug laws, carries a maximum 15-year jail term for those who, without right, possess, keep and/or bring drugs.
The subsidiary charge, under article 60, carries a maximum three years' jail for those who receive or hand over drugs, and for those who are users of the drug the maximum is only three months' jail.
The top model has been held in Denpasar's Polda police headquarters jail since her arrest on August 20 this year as there is no provision under Indonesian law for bail. Her team hopes to have her moved as early as next week to Bali's Kerobokan jail which also houses Australians Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine heroin gang suspects.
Leslie was arrested in a police drugs sweep as she was about to enter a party in Bali, where she was on holiday after finishing a modelling job in Singapore. In her handbag police found two pink pills, which they say have tested positive to ecstasy.
The dossier handed to prosecutors yesterday contains a copy of Leslie's controversial 4½-page police interrogation statement in which she is alleged to have told officers that she had been taking ecstasy for one year and had been seeing a doctor for her problem.
The prosecution now has 14 days in which to examine the dossier.