BALTIMORE -- A war of words between Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has erupted over Mosby's successful motion to free Adnan Syed.
"We have a crime problem in Maryland, and Maryland courts have repeatedly found that Adnan Syed committed this murder, and I have to say, if state's attorney Mosby were concentrating as hard on trying murder cases and putting murderers behind bars as she has on this case, I think our state would be quite a bit safer," Frosh told WJZ Wednesday.
His strong criticism follows Mosby accusing his office of failing to turn over evidence-handwritten notes contained in boxes of case files to Syed's defense.
Those notes contain interviews with suspects now under investigation for the murder of Hae Min Lee, including one who made a death threat to her.
"None of that information was provided to defense counsel by the original prosecutor or the attorney generals office where the original case file still sits," Mosby said outside the Cummings Courthouse Monday, moments after Syed walked out the doors and headed home.
Here is what Mosby told WJZ in an interview Tuesday:
"Why did they sit on this information? Why wasn't this disclosed? Why wasn't it discovered? Because the moment that we discovered it, we turned it over. Those are questions you should be asking the attorney general," Mosby said.
So we did.
Frosh told us: "They asked us to have access to the file. We gave it to them. That's the extent of our communication on this. It was a surprise to us when she filed the motion. And I think she should have dug a little deeper about the Brady violations."
Brady violations are when evidence is illegally withheld from a defendant.
"The folks who I've spoken to and that our office has spoken to say the notes were produced, but more importantly I have to say, we gave them to her. That's where she got them in the first place. We're not withholding them from anybody," the attorney general said.
Frosh also questioned the timing of the motion-filed just as Mosby was scheduled to face trial against perjury and fraud charges.
"She said her investigation was not complete so without looking at whether there were Brady violations and without completing her investigation, the timing looks, shall I say unusual," Frosh said.
Mosby responded to Frosh's comments to WJZ in a statement late Wednesday afternoon: "I think Attorney General Brian Frosh needs to speak to his office's willful decision to sit on exculpatory evidence for the last seven years. His inability to uphold this fundamental obligation denied Mr. Syed his right to a fair trial and now forces a family to relive an unimaginable nightmare because of his unconscionable misdeeds. As opposed to deflecting from his prosecutorial failure, I urge AG Frosh to 'dig a little deeper' and evaluate any other errors infringing on the rights of other Marylanders."
Mosby denies any allegation the timing was at all related to her federal case and said she acted in the interest of justice.
"We are not yet declaring Adnan Syed is innocent, but we are declaring in the interest of fairness and justice, he is entitled to a new trial," Mosby said.
Frosh told WJZ he does not know what the future holds for Adnan Syed and conceded his office may play a role in future court proceedings.
Syed is now free on home detention. Mosby said if DNA test results exclude him, she will formally drop all charges. She does not know when those test results will come in but has 30 days to tell the court whether a new trial will move forward.
Her successor, Ivan Bates, has declined to comment on Syed's case or any cases that may fall under his administration.
Amy Kawata contributed to this report.
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