However the acquittal was overturned after prosecutors appealed and she was handed a death sentence - only for the Federal Court in administrative capital Putrajaya, her final avenue of appeal, to rule in her favour Tuesday.
A lawyer says Malaysia's top appeals court has acquitted an Australian grandmother who faced the death penalty in a drugs case.
'We're very confident. We have always maintained that the facts have always been as Maria said, ' her lawyer, Muhammad Farhan Shafee, said.
Effective July 2018, access to full reports will only be available with a subscription. They hope she can fly home within two days once her documents have been processed.
While in transit at KLIA, Shafee said "Maria didn't know" she did not need to come out of the transit zone in order to change planes, and followed the other passengers through immigration.
Her appeal for trafficking more than one kilogram of crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, through Kuala Lumpur airport in December 2014 was heard in Malaysia's Court of Final Appeal on Tuesday.
The 55-year-old was facing the death penalty under Malaysia's the Dangerous Drugs Act, where anyone caught with at least 50g of crystal methamphetamine is considered a trafficker.
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They arranged to meet in Shanghai but he failed to turn up. "He made me fall in love with him", she said.
The expert defence witness in her Malaysian trial, Professor Monica Whitty from the University of Melbourne, said Ms Exposto was a "textbook romance scam victim". But she did not succeed in meeting her supposed love interest and was instead given a bag by a stranger, who asked her to take it to Melbourne.
Customs officers testified she "voluntarily" placed all her 3 pieces of hand carried luggage through the scanner.
An Australian grandmother has been arrested for illegal drug trafficking in Malaysia.
Harsh and mandatory penalties for drug trafficking were introduced in Southeast Asia after intense lobbying by the United States amid its war on drugs and a strategy to curb heroine and opium smuggling out of the notorious Golden Triangle in the 1970s and 1980s.
Her lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, told reporters at the court the ruling would have "a high impact". "This is an illustration, how an innocent woman can be scammed on the internet", Reuters quoted him as saying. "This is a daily happening", said Shafee.