Prosecutors drop charges against Adnan Syed

Murder conviction was overturned in September after 'Serial' drew national attention to the case

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Baltimore prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges against Adnan Syed, who spent 23 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Mr Syed was released from prison last month and his murder conviction overturned after a year-long investigation uncovered problems in the 1999 case. He was serving a life sentence.

On Tuesday, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City said in an email that it had dropped the case against Mr Syed.

A lawyer for Mr Syed was not immediately available for comment, Reuters reported.

Mr Syed has maintained his innocence and has said that he did not kill ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, who was 18 years old when she was strangled and buried in a park.

State prosecutors last month said they were no longer confident of “the integrity of the conviction” after the investigation found several problems with witnesses and evidence from the trial.

Prosecutors said new evidence had been discovered about two alternative men who may have been involved. Their identities have not been disclosed.

The two men were investigated during the original trial but were not disclosed to the defence. The lawyer who represented Mr Syed in 1999 was disbarred in 2001.

At the time of his release, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn put Mr Syed on a 30-day home detention while prosecutors were left to decide whether or not to retry the case.

Lee's family had asked a Maryland appellate court to halt the case. A lawyer for the family said they are not challenging Mr Syed's release, but instead wanted Ms Phinn to hold another hearing so the family can address the court in person.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: October 11, 2022, 4:32 PM
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