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Adnan Syed hearing live: Judge overturns conviction of ‘Serial’ podcast subject after 23 years in prison

Adnan Syed gets new trial

A Maryland judge has overturned the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, in the latest twist to the case at the centre of the hit podcast series Serial.

​​Baltimore City Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn vacated the 41-year-old’s conviction and granted him a new trial on Monday, ordering his release after more than 23 years behind bars.

The move came after prosecutors made a request for his release on Wednesday saying that “the state no longer has confidence in the integrity of the conviction”. Prosecutors said that an almost year-long investigation had cast doubts about the validity of cellphone tower data and uncovered new information about the possible involvement of two alternate unnamed suspects.

Syed was convicted in 2000 of first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and imprisonment of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.

Lee, 18, vanished after leaving her high school on 13 January 1999. Her strangled body was found in a shallow grave in a Baltimore park around a month later. Syed has always maintained his innocence.

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Adnan Syed is met with cheers as he walks out of courthouse

Adnan Syed was met with cheers as he walked out of the courthouse after his conviction was overturned.

The 41-year-old was spotted walking down the steps less than an hour after the judge delivered the ruling.

He made no comments and got inside a waiting vehicle. He is now expected to be fitted for GPS tracking as he is released on home detention.

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Serial’s Adnan Syed to walk free from prison as judge overturns 2000 murder conviction

Adnan Syed is set to walk free from prison, after a judge in Baltimore overturned his conviction for the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn vacated the 41-year-old’s conviction “in the interest of justice” on Monday and granted him a new trial, marking the latest dramatic twist in a case that has captured attention across the globe.

Syed’s shackles were removed and the judge ordered Syed to be released under home detention while the investigation continues into Lee’s 1999 murder.

Under state law, prosecutors now have 30 days to decide whether to drop the charges against Syed or to retry the case.

The ruling comes days after prosecutors in Maryland made a bombshell request for his release saying that “the state no longer has confidence in the integrity of the conviction”.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:

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Adnan Syed will walk free from prison today

Adnan Syed will walk free from prison today after the judge overturned his conviction and ordered him to be granted a new trial.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn said that she was vacating the 41-year-old’s conviction “in the interest of justice”.

Syed will be released on home detention.

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Judge overturns Adnan Syed’s conviction

​​Baltimore City Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn has overturned 41-year-old Adnan Syed’s conviction, ordering his release after more than 23 years behind bars.

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Alternate suspects, unreliable testimony and evidence all cited as cause for vacating conviction

Alternate suspects and unreliable testimony and evidence have all been cited as reasons for Adnan Syed’s conviction to be vacated.

Prosecutor Becky Feldman told the judge that cellphone location data placing Syed at the crime scene is not accurate or admissible in court and that one of the alternate suspects wasn’t properly cleared from the investigation after failing a lie detector test.

The prosecutor also cast doubt on the credibility of Jay Wilds – the star witness in the original trial who claimed that he helped Syed to dispose of Lee’s body – saying that he has changed his story multiple times.

The detective on the original case is also unreliable, she said.

“I understand how difficult this is but we need to make sure we hold the correct person accountable,” she said.

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Prosecutor asks judge to release Adnan Syed

Prosecutor Becky Feldman has asked the judge to vacate Adnan Syed’s conviction and release him from prison.

She said that the state’s failure to turn over information about other potential suspects to the defence is grounds for his conviction to be tossed and him to be granted a new trial.

The prosecution referred to two other potential suspects in Wednesday’s court filing but has not named them.

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Hae Min Lee’s brother says case is ‘killing me’

Hae Min Lee’s brother has addressed the court about the toll the case is taking on him and his family, saying that it is “killing me”.

Young Lee joined the court hearing virtually from the West Coast where he urged the judge to “make the right decision”.

“I’ve been living with this for like 20 plus years. Everyday when I think it’s over… or it’s ended, it always comes back,” he said.

“It’s killing me. It’s really tough.”

He added that he felt “betrayed” by the prosecution, after they blindsided the family by casting doubt on Adnan Syed’s guilt – after spending more than two decades insisting he was the killer.

Mr Lee choked back tears as he said that he was open to the investigation and spoke of the difficulty knowing that someone responsible for his sister’s death could currently be walking free.

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Court has resumed

The court is back in session following a brief recess.

The break was called by the judge to give Hae Min Lee’s sibling a chance to join the hearing remotely from the West Coast.

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Court takes brief recess

The court has gone on recess for 30 minutes so that Hae Min Lee’s brother has the opportunity to join the hearing virtually.

Young Lee is at his place of work on the West Coast at this time.

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Judge denies victim’s family’s request to postpone hearing

Judge Melissa Phinn has denied the victim’s family’s request to postpone Adnan Syed’s court hearing.

The judge said that the state provided the family of Hae Min Lee with enough time to find an attorney that would advise them of their rights to attend and speak at the hearing.

She told the family’s attorney to contact Lee’s brother Young Lee to give him the opportunity to address the court remotely now.

SOURCE: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/adnan-sayed-hearing-serial-murder-case-latest-b2170247.html

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