Adnan Syed: All charges dropped in Serial podcast caseon October 11, 2022 at 4:01 pm

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Syed has spent 23 years in prison for the murder of Hae Min Lee, but has long maintained his innocence.

Adnan Syed waving to supporters after his release from prison.Image source, Reuters

US prosecutors have dropped all charges against a Baltimore man whose case garnered worldwide attention through the hit true crime podcast Serial.

Adnan Syed served 23 years in prison after he was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.

But his conviction was quashed last month, and on Tuesday it was announced that all charges had been dropped.

“Finally, Adnan Syed is able to live as a free man,” his lawyer, Erica Suter, said in a statement.

“Adnan is innocent and lost 23 years of his life serving time for a crime he did not commit,” she added.

The state attorney will hold a press conference and provide further details at 13:00 local time (17:00 GMT).

The 41-year-old’s conviction was quashed last month after prosecutors identified two other potential suspects following a year-long case review.

Prosecutors then had 30 days to decide whether they would proceed with a new trial or drop the charges against Syed.

After the murder of his high school classmate and ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999, a jury found Syed guilty of premeditated murder, kidnapping, robbery and false imprisonment.

Prosecutors argued he was a scorned lover who had strangled Ms Lee and hid her body in Baltimore’s Leakin Park with the help of a friend. They relied in part on mobile phone location data that has since been proven unreliable.

Syed has maintained his innocence since his conviction and appealed the court’s decision several times, including a recent attempt in 2019. All of his applications were denied.

His story and the case was chronicled in the widely successful true crime podcast Serial, which cast doubt on his guilt. Episodes of the show have been downloaded more than 340 million times.

Baltimore’s state attorney’s office has studied the case over the past year and concluded that Syed deserved a new trial.

They said they lacked “confidence in the integrity of the conviction” and identified two new suspects who had been known to police since the murder.

The conviction was then quashed on 20 September “in the interest of fairness and justice”, said Baltimore Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn.

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