Adnan Syed, the subject of Serial‘s hit first season, has been granted a new trial, according to reports.
Syed was imprisoned for the murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999 and has been serving a life sentence since 2000.
Syed’s conviction has proved controversial since forming the basis of the hugely popular first season of Serial in 2014, which looked at the alleged inconsistencies in his trial.
NBC Washington reports that the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled last Thursday (March 29) that Syed should be granted a new trial after the state appealed an earlier vacation.
In June 2016, a lower court judge vacated Syed’s conviction, granting him a retrial after deciding that key evidence had not been cross-examined in the initial trial.
The state appealed the decision, with a three-judge panel now upholding the original verdict in a 2-1 ruling.
Syed had previously appealed his conviction in 2012, but was denied.
Justin Brown, Syed’s attorney, has tweeted following the news: “WE WON THE APPEAL. #FreeAdnan“.
WE WON THE APPEAL. #FreeAdnan
— Justin Brown (@CJBrownLaw) March 29, 2018
Downloaded more than 130 million times since its launch in 2014, the first season of the Serial podcast was a massive crossover hit.
Its second season focused on the story of US solider Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban and later charged with desertion.
The third season of Serial is expected in 2018. It has been described as “huge” and “very different from the first two seasons”.