Disbelief about his daughter's treatment
Not a good role model
for a Prime Minister!
AUSTRALIA: IF you were looking at 15 years in a filthy Bali prison, what would you do to get out?
Michelle Leslie posed the question and suddenly did not seem the bad person the Prime Minister painted her as.
Fluctuating between strength and vulnerability, the model called a snap conference Friday to hit back at her critics, from the pro-government media in the studio to our infamous Prime Minister John Howard.
"From the day of my arrest until the day I was released, I really believed I would spend the next 15 years of my life rotting in an Indonesian prison," Michelle Leslie said before breaking down, tears dampening her cheeks.
"I can't begin to describe how frightened I was and how confusing it was to find myself in that situation.
"I don't think anyone could blame me or my family or friends for doing everything they could to get me out."
"I think anybody else in that situation would have done the same."
For those unfamiliar with Bali's Kerobokan jail, she offered a quick verbal tour. Her cell was "infested with cockroaches and had no ventilation and no sunlight".
"I had to share that cell with up to 13 women at a time," she said.
The only relief from the heat "was a daily shower with a bucket of cold water in an open sewer".
She then criticised Prime Minister John Howard who -- like his newspaper the Daily Terror and others -- said she should not be paid for her story.
"What has really shocked me is the amount of anger that has been leveled at me, especially from the Prime Minister," Leslie said.
"I know there has been a lot of speculation about whether I was going to tell my story -- let me tell you now, all I ever wanted to do was clear my name and also that my story is not for sale."
She made it clear from the start that she would not talk about her case or criticise the Indonesian legal system, because this could make life worse for other Australians in Bali awaiting their fate.
Her softly spoken father Albert sat on her left.
On her right was mentor Sean Mulcahy.
Albert Leslie spoke with disbelief about his daughter's treatment.
Mr Leslie blasted Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for taking no interest in his family.