Adnan Syed: Subject of 'Serial' podcast wins right to call witness who could provide alibi to challenge murder conviction

Prisoner believes witness could provide him with crucial information for court

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The Independent US

Adnan Syed, the convicted murderer who is featured in the groundbreaking podcast series Serial, has secured a breakthrough in his effort to have his conviction overturned.

A ruling by a court in Maryland means that Syed will have the opportunity to call a new witness who he claims can provide him with an alibi.

In an affidavit, the woman said she saw him at a high school library around the time of the murder of his ex-girlfriend and classmate, Hae Min Lee, on January 13 1999.

Syed’s case was featured in the 12-part podcast Serial, which was produced by the public radio station WBEZ Chicago last October and was the fastest to reach 5 million downloads, Reuters reported.

Syed is appealing his 2000 murder conviction, arguing that his legal counsel was ineffective for not interviewing the witness, Asia McClain, and for not seeking a plea deal.

The appeals court said on Monday said it would stay that appeal and return the case to a Baltimore court to re-open the post-conviction proceedings, which Ms McClain said in an affidavit the prosecutor discouraged her from attending.

“We believe that a stay of this appeal and a limited remand to the circuit court is in the interest of justice,” the court said in a copy of the document published online by local broadcaster WBAL.

Ms Lee and Syed were students at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County when she disappeared in January 1999. Her body was discovered in a city forest three weeks later.

Syed’s brother, Yusuf Syed, said he had spoken with the prisoner and informed him of the news.

“He was really happy and excited, especially since the court said it was in the interest of justice,” he said.