Sunday, November 13, 2005

Gods of Bali Smile on Michelle Leslie

The predictable is about to eventuate.

Michelle Leslie, Aussie model of underwear and lingerie, covert Muslim convert (revealed after she was arrested in Bali for drug possession), unfortunate innocent ‘victim’ of a mysterious woman by the name of Mia, who bought and gave her the ecstasy pills, is about to be released.

The prosecution has dropped its original demand for a 15-year sentence, in “consideration” of her addiction to the drugs, which she had confessed to, as well as appealed for mercy from the court.

Leslie said, "I'd like to apologise very much to the people of Indonesia for giving a problem in their country, because that was never my intention. I'd like to ask for mercy and justice from the court.''

Good girl, Michelle, that’s the right tone to take with the Indons. Contrast this ‘halus’ (refined and tactful) approach with the one by Schapelle Corby’s team whose antics insulted and irritated (if not angered) the Indon legal system, and pushing the Bali judges into a dangerous corner.

The Schapelle Corby case was rife with media agitated frenzy leading to redneck attacks on the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra (by threat of deadly chemicals sent through the post) and harassment of the Indonesian consulate in Perth. The insults and threats against the Indon authorities were embarrassing, with pathetic demands for Aussie aid given to tsunami victims to be withdrawn. It was a very shameful period for Aussies; it was driven by the ratings-conscious media; most unfortunate of all, it was highly counterproductive for Schapelle Corby.

Leslie’s defence team must have learnt from Corby’s pathetic case, and thus kept a low profile and presented a “humble demeanour” throughout the 3 months she has been incarcerated.

Again, by contrast to Corby’s lawyer admitting to Aussie press that Indon judges could be bribed, coupled with subsequent revelations in the Aussie media that Corby’s team had requested for a large sum for such purposes, Leslie team has planned her defence with gentle ‘nudges’ (read my previous postings) released at judicious intervals, but without giving offence to the integrity of the Indon legal system. They provided subtle information to the media only when and what they wanted published.

When she next appears before the judges in the Bali courts, she will probably be sentenced to 3 months jail for her possession of the 2 ecstasy pills, a light sentence in view of the consideration that she is an addict – Indonesia has sympathetic sentences for drug addicts as opposed to drug pushers.

She would have serve those 3 months already, so she will be virtually freed straightaway after the pronouncement of the sentence, when she can then fly off to Oz to rejoin her multi-millionaire boyfriend.

What do I think of all the Leslie case?

(1) for possession of the 2 ecstasy pills, the original threat of a 15-year sentence was way over the top, and probably an unfortunate reaction by the Indons in the wake of the Corby’s Aussie media circus.

(2) I believe even the 3 months sentence is way too long a punishment for 2 pills that she had for her personal use. She should be fined instead for a first offence.

(3) It always help to have a rich close friend (or family member) who can assemble a powerful team of good lawyers and PR personnel to plan one's defence.

(4) be wary of the media - while they can be helpful, they can be unhelpful as well when they perceive that whipping up a frenzy may be good for their ratings (but not necessarily good for the person whom they purport to support).

(5) those who use and carry drugs around, high time to stop messing around with the 'deadly' substance - if you aren't beautiful like Schapelle or have a strong supporter like Leslie, you could well be in the same position as those 9 other Aussies in Bali and Aussie Nguyen Van Tuong in Singapore.

A Tale of Two Beautiful Women
Two Beautiful Aussies in Bali - The Story Continues
Gods of Bali do what Doctor won't
Aussie Covert Convert in Bali - the Plot thickens!

1 comment:

  1. Never thought about it that way. This post is really interesting. Should be a case study on the Indonesian Judicial system.