Subject of ‘Serial’ podcast Adnan Syed is granted a retrial

He has been serving a life sentence for murder since 1999

Adnan Syed the subject of the break-out podcast Serial has been granted a retrial.

He was imprisoned for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999 and has been serving a life sentence ever since.

But a judge in Maryland has granted a retrial. C. Justin Brown, Syed’s lawyer, tweeted the decision this afternoon (June 30), posting: “WE WON A NEW TRIAL FOR ADNAN SYED.”

The announcement follows three days of post-conviction hearings in February during which Mr. Syed and his legal team were able to present new evidence, including the testimony of a new alibi witness, and argue that his original defence counsel had been grossly negligent.

The post-trial proceedings were held before a retired Baltimore City Circuit Court judge, who granted his request for a hearing last November.

Syed first filed a request for a post-conviction hearing in 2010 but was denied.

Downloaded more than 130 million times since its launch in 2014, the podcast raised questions about Syed’s trial lawyer. Host Sarah Koenig regularly talked to Syed on the phone in prison and interviewed others who knew Syed in high school, as well as his family and lawyers.

Earlier this month, it was also revealed that a TV series based on the podcast titled ‘Adnan Syed: Innocent or Guilty?’ was to be screened on Investigation Discovery UK.

Speaking about the programme, Clare Laycock, Head of Investigation Discovery UK, said at the time: “On Investigation Discovery we have real-crime all the time and following our special on the controversial Steven Avery case as featured in the hit Netflix series Making a Murderer earlier this year, we are excited to share the latest in this unfolding saga with viewers.

“The serialised podcast in 2014 has more than 130 million downloads to date, and made everyone a detective. With a judge expecting to make a decision at any time, we want to give our viewers not only the crucial information surrounding Adnan Syed’s case, but also the personal, first-hand accounts of what to expect from key players.”