Adnan Syed calls for investigation into alleged prosecutorial misconduct

Posted at 5:09 PM, September 19, 2023 and last updated 9:05 PM, September 19, 2023

By: Amanda Engel

BALTIMORE (Scripps News Baltimore) — Over the course of two hours, the soft-spoken and sometimes emotional Adnan Syed meticulously laid out allegations of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of the two attorneys who tried his case in 2000.

A man sits in a chair with a laptop on his lap in front of microphones in a living room

Adnan Syed called on Maryland’s Attorney General to investigate the prosecutors who tried his case in 2000 at a news conference at his home on Sept. 18. (Scripps News Baltimore/Elizabeth Worthington)

“A very close and dear friend of mine, named Hae Lee, she was murdered. I was ultimately charged, taken to trial and wrongfully convicted of that crime,” said Syed.

He spoke to reporters at his family home and went through a 93-page presentation, going through document by document and calling on the state’s Attorney General, Anthony Brown, to look into the case.

Syed says he doesn’t just want to clear his name. He wants justice for Lee and her family too. But he says that can’t happen until it’s proven he was wrongfully convicted. That’s why he’s calling on the attorney general to investigate his case from start to finish.

“We’re asking for as many people as possible to look into this case because we have nothing to hide. On the other hand, they’re essentially saying – no more investigation, don’t look at anything, just take our word for it – he did it.”

MORE: What’s Next for Adnan Syed?

Syed went through a history of his case in painstaking detail, providing evidence he says amounts to prosecutorial misconduct.

He accuses former trial prosecutors Kevin Urick and Kathleen Murphy of acting improperly on a number of occasions throughout the years, most notably by failing to disclose evidence that could have impacted the outcome of the trial. That is in fact part of the reason why Syed’s conviction was overturned last year.

But today he showed us emails obtained through a public information request. The emails show that Kathleen Murphy, who is now a district judge, was included in discussions about his case in 2022, even after she was no longer involved.

Adnan Syed exits the Cummings Courthouse

Adnan Syed, center right, leaves the courthouse after the hearing, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in Baltimore. A Baltimore judge on Monday ordered the release of Syed after overturning his conviction for the 1999 murder of high school student Hae Min Lee — a case that was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial,” a true-crime series that transfixed listeners and revolutionized the genre. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Syed accuses her of “working behind the scenes” to protect the conviction, Urick, and herself, Including by opposing the DNA testing that ultimately exonerated him.

“How in the world would you want to convince a judge not to allow this testing?” he asks.

Scripps News Baltimore reached out to the Maryland Judiciary for a statement from Judge Kathleen Murphy.

“Judges cannot comment on pending or impending cases,” says Bradley Tanner, a spokesperson for the Maryland Courts.

Jennifer Donelan, a spokesperson for Attorney General Brown gave Scripps News Baltimore the following statement: “The Attorney General does not have the authority to investigate allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. We are prevented from commenting any further because, as you are aware, we are in the midst of ongoing litigation involving this case.”

Kevin Urick, now a private attorney in Elkton, responded, “Mr. Syed’s desperation appears to grow with each passing day. He has demonized and vilified every witness, investigator, and prosecutor involved in this case. These latest developments follow the pattern he has established as he makes baseless claims.”

This story was originally published by Scripps News Baltimore, an E.W. Scripps Company.