'Serial' case: Adnan Syed released after murder conviction overturned

Podcast series Serial brought national attention to the case

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A US judge on Monday ordered the release of Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was chronicled when the popular podcast series Serial raised doubts over whether he had killed his ex-girlfriend in 1999.

Mr Syed always maintained his innocence and said he did not kill Hae Min Lee, who was 18 years old when she was strangled and buried in a park in Baltimore, Maryland.

He was serving a life sentence.

A US prosecutor last week filed a motion for his conviction to be dismissed, saying the office was no longer confident in “the integrity of the conviction”.

Prosecutors told Judge Melissa M Phill that they had found new information on two other people potentially involved in the murder as well as new information on mobile phone evidence used by the prosecution during the trial to place Mr Syed at the scene of the murder.

The two people had been investigated during the course of the original probe but were not properly ruled out or disclosed to the defence.

Ms Phill vacated Mr Syed's conviction, citing “the interests of fairness and justice”, The New York Times reported.

He was ordered to serve 30 days of home detention. Prosecutors have 30 days to decide if they wish to pursue a new trial or drop the case.

Mr Syed's case was chronicled in the first season of Serial and drew national attention in 2014. The lawyer who represented Mr Syed during his original trial was disbarred in 2001.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: September 20, 2022, 12:42 PM