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Prosecutors move to vacate Adnan Syed's conviction for murder of Hae Min Lee as new evidence uncovered

Rachel Lang

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Prosecutors move to vacate Adnan Syed's conviction for murder of Hae Min Lee as new evidence uncovered

Featured Image Credit: Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy. HBO.

Prosecutors have moved to vacate the conviction of Adnan Syed, the man currently jailed for the 1999 slaying of Baltimore teenager Hae Min Lee.

Syed, then 17, was found guilty in 2000 and was sentenced to life in prison.

The case shot to international attention following Sarah Koenig's critically acclaimed podcast Serial, which did a deep dive into Lee's murder and exposed multiple holes in the State's case against Syed.

And, despite multiple appeals and attempts to have the case tried again, he has remained in jail ever since.

Until now.

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

New evidence has come to light which has led to prosecutors filing a motion to vacate the now-42-year-old man's conviction.

After the wildly successful podcast took a deep dive into Lee's murder, a follow-up investigation by the State’s Attorney’s Office took place.

That investigation found that the prosecution failed to notify Syed’s defence that police had interviewed two other suspects in relation to the murder of 18-year-old Lee.

Neither suspect was ever officially ruled out.

The motion to vacate was prompted by the discovery of 'undisclosed and newly-developed information regarding two alternative suspects, as well as unreliable cell phone tower data', Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said, as per The Journal.

The motion indicates that one of the suspect told Lee that 'he would make her disappear. He would kill her', according to the Wall Street Journal.

The state may have violated a Brady rule by withholding these details from Syed's defence team.

Brady disclosure is a Supreme Court precedent that means US prosecutors must turn over any evidence that could view the defendant in a favourable light.

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

The motion to vacate does not mean that prosecutors have claimed that Syed is innocent.

Instead, it means that he will need to face a new trial 'where he is adequately represented and the latest evidence can be presented'.

The State Attorney's office has recommended he be released on bail in the interim.

"We believe that keeping Mr. Syed detained as we continue to investigate the case with everything that we know now, when we do not have confidence in results of the first trial, would be unjust," Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.

Syed has spent 20 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend in 2000 after her body was discovered partially buried in Leakin Park, a massive woodland in Baltimore, Maryland.

The park is renowned for being filled with shallow graves and dead bodies.

He has always maintained that he did not kill Lee, his ex-girlfriend.

Topics: News, US News, Crime, True Crime

Rachel Lang
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