spent a lot of time in Indonesia over the years and have spoken to
people who were eye-witnesses to the Michelle Leslie saga on the night
she was charged.
She was indeed caught with the pills in her bag and was with the son of Aburizal Bakrie, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy. And Bakrie’s
son did do a runner as soon as she was busted. However, the daughter of
a former high ranking official turned successful businessman stepped in
to help and began “negotiating” with the police on Leslie’s behalf at
The cops initially asked for 400,000,000 rupiah ($US40,000) but this
was negotiated down to 100,000,000 rupiah ($US10,000). The offer was
taken to Ms Leslie and she was asked to make arrangements (quietly) for
this transaction to take place.
This deal broke down when she
spoke to her parents and boyfriend and professed her innocence to them.
Neither the parents nor the boyfriend would stump up the cash because
they believed her assertions of innocence and thought she was being
extorted by the Bali cops.
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So, she could have walked away after
a few days in jail waiting for the transaction to take place, all very
quietly and with nothing mentioned in the media. Instead, she lied to
her parents, they refused to pay the cops, the media finds out and the
rest is history. Silly, silly girl!
She had someone willing to
put their personal connections on the line to make it all go away and
didn’t. Instead she went with the numerous versions of events that
wound up in the press.
The truly ironic thing is that securing the sentence she ended up
getting is rumoured to have been more expensive than the original deal
would have cost.