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01st Jul 2016

‘Serial’ podcast’s Adnan Syed is to get new trial

Carl Anka

Adnan Syed, the prisoner at the centre of the first series of the podcast Serial, is to receive a new trial after 16 years in prison.

Syed was given a life sentence plus 30 years in 2000 after being found guilty for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, while the pair where in high school.

The gained widespread attention in 2014 due to the in-depth reporting of Sarah Koeing as detailed in her true crime podcast Serial.

In the months that followed, Syed’s lawyers argued that important evidence was either inadequate to prosecute Adnan, or otherwise ignored. Previous legal representation for Syed, now aged 35, has also been viewed as ‘ineffective’.

Adnan’s new lawyers have now successfully fought to bring his case for new court consideration by focusing on new testimony from an alibi witness, Asia McClain. There will also be a deeper examination of the cell tower data that prosecutors used to put Syed behind bars.

The Baltimore Sun reports the judge denied additional motions related to the allegations of “ineffective assistance” from Syed’s original trial attorneys with regards to the alibi witness and “alleged prosecutorial misconduct” in regards to the cell tower evidence.

C Justin Brown, Syed’s current lawyer, said at a press conference on Thursday that the judge’s order means “the conviction is erased, it’s gone. As of this day, he’s not convicted any more.”

At time of writing, a new trial date has not been set.