Adnan Syed was released from prison on Monday (Credits: Reuters)

The case of Adnan Syed first came to light in the hugely popular podcast Serial, which gripped millions across the globe when it first aired in 2014.

However, the story is still proving as compelling as ever, as Syed was recently freed from prison after decades behind bars – as he waits to hear if a new trial will be brought against him.

For those unfamiliar with the case, here’s what you need to know about Adnan Syed and the crime he was convicted of.

Who is Adnan Syed and what was he convicted of?

Adnan Syed was a student aged 18 when he was accused of strangling his former girlfriend, 18-year-old South Korean-born student Hae Min Lee.

Lee, who studied at Woodlawn High School near Baltimore, Maryland, went missing on January 13, 1999, with her partially buried body discovered in the city’s Leakin Park on February 9.

Adnan Syed has always maintained his innocence (Picture: HBO)

Student Hae Min Lee was 18 when she was murdered (Picture: HBO)

Syed was later arrested and charged with murder, with the prosecution arguing that he had strangled Lee to death after she had dumped him.

He was later found guilty of the murder, as well as robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment, and was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

Syed, now 41, has always maintained he is innocent.

How long was Adnan Syed in prison for?

Adnan Syed was in prison for more than 20 years, after being convicted in 2000.

He was freed on Monday, September 19, 2022, after a number of efforts made in recent years to have the conviction overturned.

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Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn ordered the release of Adnan Syed.

Phinn placed Syed under home detention and ordered him to be monitored by a GPS tracking device. She gave prosecutors 30 days to decide whether to seek a new trial or dismiss the charges against him.

As Syed walked out of the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse, he was greeted by a large, cheering crowd.

Syed was originally granted a retrial by a Maryland judge back in 2016, following the popularity of the podcast bringing his case back into the spotlight.

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It was secured on the basis that his original lawyer failed to cross-examine an expert witness who claimed she saw Syed in the library at Woodland on the afternoon Lee went missing.

However following an appeal by the state of Maryland, four judges denied him a new trial – saying that the witness would not have affected the outcome of the proceedings.

Adnan’s attorney Justin Brown said in a statement afterwards: ‘We are devastated by the Court of Appeals’ decision but we will not give up on Adnan Syed.’


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