Adnan Syed, the subject of the true crime podcast Serial, is speaking out publicly for the first time following his release from prison and dismissal of his murder conviction.
Following a Feb. 2 hearing regarding a Maryland judge's decision to vacate his 2000 conviction for the 1999 murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, the 42-year-old spoke about the pain his family's been through during the past few decades.
"It seems like our family, we just always go unnoticed," Syed told reporters outside the courthouse, while standing with his mother, father and brother. "Every time we go to court we just always go unnoticed. We definitely understand that Hae's family has suffered so much and they continue to suffer. It's just that we suffer too and we hope that the court today just takes notice of that."
In his September 2022 ruling, the judge determined that prosecutors made a compelling argument that Syed's conviction was flawed, NBC News reported. That month Syed was released from prison after serving 23 years of a life sentence.
The Baltimore City Attorney's Office dismissed its case against him, citing DNA evidence, a month later.
The Feb. 2 hearing addressed an appeal filed by Lee's family over the judge's September 2022 decision, alleging their rights were violated because they didn't receive enough notice about the court hearing, in which Syed's conviction was vacated. They subsequently requested a new hearing, which could require reinstating Syed's 2000 conviction, to allow Lee's brother to participate, the Associated Press reported.
After hearing, Lee family's attorney told reporters, per the Associated Press, "We're not on a campaign to have Adnan Syed put back in jail. This is about respecting victims and their representatives."
The Appellate Court of Maryland is expected to issue a ruling in response to the Lee family's appeal within 90 days.