Serial subject Adnan Syed is seeking a new trial after being convicted of the murder of Hae Min Lee 16 years ago. Before his post-conviction hearing continued on Monday morning, Lee’s family issued a statement making clear that they still believe Syed is guilty, and that both the podcast and the new hearing “have reopened wounds few can imagine.”
Lee’s family, who rarely speak publicly, issued an emotional statement that delves into how difficult it’s been to see widespread public support for the man they believe is responsible for their daughter’s murder. From the Guardian:
“The events of this past week have reopened wounds few can imagine,” the letter from the victim’s family begins, before alluding to the many people who have become fascinated with the case since it was retold in a hugely popular podcast, Serial.
“It remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime, who destroyed our family, who refuses to accept responsibility, when so few are willing to speak up for Hae,” they wrote. “She stood up for what was right, regardless of popular opinion.”
The family then directly address fans of the podcast, saying that “unlike those who learn about this case on the internet, we sat and watched every day of both trials – so many witnesses, so much evidence”.
Syed is seeking a new trial on the grounds that his original attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, provided an inadequate defense.
The statement from the Lee family was released by the office of the Maryland Attorney General; the New York Times reports that the state’s deputy prosecutor, Thiru Vignarajah, also released a statement, saying Syed received “a tenacious and dogged defense.”
Reporters in the courtroom Monday morning reported that the Lee family was not present as Syed’s hearing continues.
Syed entering his hearing last week. Screengrab via ABC News 2 -WMAR