Just a month after Adnan Syed – the subject of true crime podcast Serial – was granted a retrial, new evidence has come to light that casts doubt on his innocence.
Currently serving a life sentence plus 30 years for the murder of his former girlfriend – Hae Min Lee, who was killed in 1999, Adnan was convicted largely on the testimony of a witness who claims he helped the then 17-year-old dig a hole for Hae Min’s body.
There was also cellphone records, indicating that Adnanwas in the area around the time of the murder.
He’s been in prison since 2000, but last month, a Baltimore judge granted Adnan a retrial on the basis that there were various mistakes made by his legal team(many of which were highlighted in Serial), and that the evidence used to convict him was shaky.
EyewitnessAsia McClain, for example, claimed that shesaw Adnan in the library at the time police believe Hae Min was killed, yet the defence team failed to follow up this potential alibi (despite the fact that Asia wrote them letters and submitted an affidavit) and consequently hertestimony– along with many others’ – was absent from the trial.
Adnan’s upcoming retrial will no doubt call upon this former testimony, which unfortunately for his new defence team, may turn out to be fabricated.
The Baltimore Sun have obtained documents from theAttorney General’s Office which containvarious emails and statements from two of Asia’s classmates, claiming that she may have made up the alibi, and didn’t see Adnan after all.
According to court filings made public yesterday, they told the Attorney General that Asia believed in Adnan’s innocence to such an extent that she would “make up a lie”.
These witnesses – who happen to be sisters – also reached out to Asia on Facebook, expressing their concern in what she was doing:
“I think it’s sad he may actually be set free because of you and this fabricated story.”
Asia’s lawyer has made a statement, calling the allegations that she had lied about her testimony, “bizarre” and “wholly factually untrue”.
The alibi isn’t the only piece of evidence at play here – the judge who granted Adnan’s retrial also believed that the cellphone tower data may have been unreliable – but the allegation that it may have been fabricated will definitely be a blow to Adnan’s legal team, who were no doubt hoping for an easy retrial to get their client out of prison.