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Maryland Prosecutors Appeal New Trial for ‘Serial’ Subject Adnan Syed

Maryland prosecutors are appealing the court order that has granted a new trial for Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was called into question by the popular podcast "Serial."

The Maryland Attorney General's office filed its 45-page appeal late Monday.

Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah argued that a retrial is not warranted because there has been "no new evidence, no change in law, no material link to the original justification for remand, and no reason why the claim could not have been raised at numerous prior proceedings."

New Trial Granted for Adnan Syed of 'Serial' 1:38

Syed, 35, won a post-conviction hearing in June that has paved the way for a new trial — although no date had been set as the state weighed whether to appeal.

Retired Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Martin Welch found that Syed's attorney during his 2000 trial failed to cross-examine a state expert about cell phone tower location evidence — a key issue used to put him away for the slaying of his ex-high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999.

Syed's then-lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, also failed to contact an alibi witness on his behalf, although that ultimately didn't impact the decision to grant Syed a new trial.

Gutierrez, who was later disbarred after complaints related to other cases, died in 2004.

Syed remains behind bars as he serves a life sentence. His attorney, Justin Brown, tweeted Monday that they would begin "dissecting" the state's appeal Tuesday.

There was no eyewitness testimony or physical evidence from the scene linking Syed to the murder. But testimony from a mutual friend of Lee's and Syed's was used to help corroborate the cellphone evidence indicating where Syed had supposedly been when Lee was killed.

"Serial," which is the most downloaded podcast in history, examined whether Syed was actually guilty and has been credited with bringing renewed interest to his case.