An appeal has been filed against the decision to grant a retrial to Adnan Syed, the subject of the hit podcast Serial.
Syed was imprisoned for the murder of his 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.
CNN now reports that the Maryland Attorney General’s office filed an appeal for the retrial on Monday (August 1).
Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office asked Baltimore Judge Martin Welch to “review, and reverse, the post-conviction court’s ruling that Syed’s trial attorney was constitutionally ineffective in her cross-examination of the state’s cellphone evidence.”
Responding to the news, Syed’s post-conviction attorney Justin Brown said that his team will “start dissecting” the appeal on Tuesday (August 2).
State filed an appeal today in Syed case. We will start dissecting it tomorrow. #freeAdnan
— Justin Brown (@CJBrownLaw) August 2, 2016
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.
It has also been 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.”