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US judge releases Adnan Syed after 20 years in jail following new evidence

Sep 20, 2022

Umamah Bakharia | ub@radioislam.co.za

7min read
20 September 2022 | 12:15 am CAT

A Maryland judge has chosen to vacate the 2000 murder conviction of Adnan Syed on Monday after prosecutors stated there were two other possible suspects in the murder of his former girlfriend, which was previously never disclosed to the defence at trial.

The case of Syed gained national attention when the podcast “Serial” raised doubts about his guilt.

Syed, currently 42, had maintained he was innocent in the killing of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, who was 18 when she was strangled and buried in a Baltimore park in 1999.

Judge Melissa Phinn of the Circuit Court in Baltimore ordered Syed to be put on home detention following his release from prison, stating that a new trial be scheduled, or the case be dismissed.

His release follows a year-long investigation conducted with the public defender representing Syed, which found several issues with witnesses and evidence from the trial.

Prosecutors have told the court they were not yet certain that Syed was innocent but that they no longer stood by “the integrity of the conviction,” adding that justice requires Syed to at least be given a new trial.

In the meantime, prosecutors will complete the investigation and decide whether to seek a new trial or prosecute a different suspect.

Although he did not give comments to reporters present, Syed walked down smiling from the courthouse as people cheered and applauded.


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