Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Serial revisits Adnan Syed murder case with new podcast miniseries

rexfeatures_5581666a.jpg

His murder trial captivated millions 15 years after it took place thanks to the popularity of Sarah Koenig's compelling podcast Serial.

Now Adnan Syed's hearing for post-conviction relief is well underway, and Serial has released a miniseries to keep listeners updated on developments.

His legal team are presenting new evidence at the three-day hearing in the hopes of securing him a new trial – including testimony from a witness potentially providing Syed with an alibi, as well as a document that calls an important part of the prosecution's evidence into question.

Syed was convicted in 2000 of the 1999 killing of his ex-girlfriend, 18-year-old Hae Min Lee, and sentenced to life in prison.

But the first day of the hearing heard from Asia McClain (now known as Asia Chapman), a fellow high school student who said she was with Syed, now 35, in a library on the day Lee was murdered. At the time, she says she was not called to testify or contacted by anyone from Syed's legal team.

His current legal team say his original trial attourney, Maria Cristina Gutierrez, was not fit to represent him as her physical and mental health was deterioating due to illness. Gutierrez passed away in 2004.

Koenig has taken time out from the second series of Serial to recap the court proceedings with producer Dana Chivvis. Of Chapman's evidence, she said: “There just like a lot of drama in the room when she was testifying […] She was very sure of herself and what she remembered.

“She came off really well for the defence.”

Of Syed's demeanour, Koenig said: “He just became a stone.”

The second main issue covered in the hearing was how mobile phone data was used to determine location in the original trial, placing Syed in Leakin Park where Lee's body was found. Justin Brown, from Syed’s legal team, says the data was misinterpreted.

The second day of the trial involved cross-examination of Chapman and testimony from an expert in cellphone forensics, Gerald Grant, who said the prosecution had not followed “instructions” on how to interpret the data.

A cover letter, which can be viewed on the Serial website, was sent by service provider AT&T stating, “Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information.” Therefore, Brown says, the data that placed Syed in the park “should not have been admissible.” The original expert called in the case also signed an affadavit confirming that had he seen the cover letter, it would have "affected" his testimony.

Adnan Syed Court podcast serial

Adnan Syed outside court this week

Serial was a year in the making and hooked listeners from its release in October 2014, now boasting more than 100 million downloads.

Syed's brother Yusef has previously said of the podcast, “My brother was broken and alone. Then came Serial.”

This is the first time Syed’s team has had the opportunity to bring this evidence to court. As the hearing continues, Lee's family released a statement saying: “We believe justice was done when Adnan was convicted in 2000, and we look forward to bringing this chapter to an end so we can celebrate the memory of Hae instead of celebrating the man who killed her.”

Images: Rex Features / serialpodcast.org

Related

MAIN-Adnan-Syed-appeal-to-be-heard-next-week.jpg

A huge announcement has been made in the case of Serial's Adnan Syed

steven avery making a murderer.jpg

Why Making a Murderer is set to become your latest TV addiction

Reading in bed.JPG

The book everyone lies about reading is not War and Peace

Moira-Demos-and-Laura-Ricciardi.jpg

Meet the women behind Making a Murderer

serial.png

Serial is back! Listen to season two right here

4173.jpg

New, must-watch TV to see you through the winter chill

1985-steven-avery.jpeg

Will there be a second season of Making a Murderer?

Amy-Winehouse.jpg

Life through a lens: 25 documentaries you shouldn't miss

600full-nick-and-norahs-infinite-playlist-screenshot.jpg

From ‘Serial’ to ‘Welcome to Night Vale’; The 10 best podcasts

Comments

More

Chrissy Teigen just got blocked by President Trump on Twitter

This is what she said to push him over the edge…

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Jul 2017

Susan Sarandon’s life advice for these dark and troubled times

The actor reveals her pearls of wisdom to Stylist

by Helen Bownass
25 Jul 2017

Lucy Mangan: we should “think twice” before considering porn harmless

“Porn has become normalised, placed almost beyond criticism by its sheer prevalence”

by Lucy Mangan
25 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From inside J Lo's birthday bash to Ellie Goulding's Antarctic mission

by Nicola Colyer
25 Jul 2017

Sue Perkins on the moment she fell in friend-love with Mel Giedroyc

The Bake Off star has a beautiful point to make about platonic friendships

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

Princes William and Harry reveal the last words they spoke to Diana

“That phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Jul 2017

Pirelli’s all-black 2018 calendar makes a statement about inclusivity

The tyre manufacturer aims to continue shaking off its reputation with a beautiful fairy-tale shoot

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Nicole Scherzinger's glam squad to Reese Witherspoon's hair hack

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jul 2017

Lana Del Rey is changing her aesthetic because of Donald Trump

"I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing Born to Die."

by Moya Crockett
20 Jul 2017

BBC ever so politely shuts down backlash over first female Doctor Who

Some “unhappy” viewers contacted the broadcaster about Jodie Whittaker’s casting

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017