Adnan Syed, the subject of the hit podcast Serial, has asked to be released from prison as he awaits his retrial.
Syed was imprisoned for the murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999 and has been serving a life sentence ever since. His conviction has proved controversial since forming the basis of the first season of Serial in 2014, which looked at the alleged inconsistencies in his trial.
The announcement of a retrial followed three days of post-conviction hearings in February during which 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 Guardian now reports that Syed’s lawyer Justin Brown filed a motion on Monday (October 24), arguing that Syed should be released because he poses “no danger to the community” and that he has already served 17 years in prison “based on an unconstitutional conviction for a crime he did not commit”.
“Completely absent from Syed’s record are circumstances that typically cause courts concern regarding pretrial release,” Brown added, continuing to state that “there is no reason to think Adnan would run from the case he has spent half his life trying to disprove”.
Brown had taken to Twitter at the weekend to tease the court filing, writing: “Stay tuned for big court filing Monday. #FreeAdnan”. Read below.
Stay tuned for big court filing Monday. #FreeAdnan
— Justin Brown (@CJBrownLaw) October 23, 2016
Downloaded more than 130 million times since its launch in 2014, the Serial 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.