HBO and Sky have announced a new four-hour documentary series, The Case Against Adnan Syed, directed by Academy Award nominee Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil, West of Memphis). The series will explore the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. The case was brought to global attention by the hugely popular Serial podcast.
In June 2016, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Martin P. Welch vacated Adnan Syed’s conviction and granted him a new trial after new evidence challenged the reliability of cell phone data linking Syed to the crime scene, and a long-awaited alibi witness finally had her day in court. The State of Maryland appealed the lower court judge’s ruling, but on March 29, 2018, the Court of Special Appeals also ruled to vacate Syed’s conviction and granted him the retrial he has been waiting for.
The Case Against Adnan Syed will offer a cinematic look at the life and 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed, from the genesis of their high school relationship, cultural conflict, the aftermath of her disappearance, to the original police investigation and trial, through to the current day, when Syed faces a new trial after serving 18 years in jail. With exclusive access to Adnan Syed, his family and his lawyers, director Amy Berg has been closely following their efforts to obtain justice, with the outcome still to be determined — and possibly shaped by the investigation pursued within the series itself.
In production since 2015, the documentary series closely re-examines the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance. Presenting new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case, and featuring exclusive access not only to Syed and those around him but to friends and teachers of Hae Min Lee and Syed, and members of City of Baltimore law enforcement, the series traces how the rush to justice and Syed’s conviction in 2000 raised more questions than answers about what happened to Hae Min Lee, underscoring the instability of memory and conflicting eyewitnesses.
Working Title TV and Instinct Productions are producing and NBC Universal International Studios are distributing the follow-up to the case, which will debut on HBO in the U.S. and on Sky Atlantic in Europe. Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan will executive producer for Instinct Productions alongside Working Title TV’s Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, and Andrew Stearn.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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