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Adnan Syed demands investigation into prosecutorial misconduct in 1999 murder conviction

Adnan Syed demands investigation into prosecutorial misconduct in 1999 murder conviction
Adnan Syed demands investigation into prosecutorial misconduct in 1999 murder conviction 03:35

BALTIMORE -- Speaking for almost three hours in the basement of his parents' home in Baltimore County, Adnan Syed called on the Maryland Attorney General to investigate allegations two prosecutors acted inappropriately and interfered in the murder case against him. 

"We're fortunate to have people who care deeply for our family," Syed said, his voice cracking with emotion.

He also fought back tears when discussing his father, mother and brother. 

"The harm that occurs is to families like us, to my mom and my little brother who was nine years old when he had to watch his older brother get taken out in handcuffs," Syed said.

Syed laid out his allegations in a 93-page document that can be read here:

"To essentially report a crime, to present a series of information to say respectfully, sir, our rights were violated. We're asking that you please investigate," Syed said of his request to the attorney general. 

A judge released Syed from prison one year ago for the 1999 murder of his Woodlawn High School classmate Hae Min Lee.  

"We have the utmost respect for Hae's family and everything they want to do to get justice for Hae, and we feel this way because we've always wanted justice for Hae. We've always wanted justice for her family," Syed said.

He said he "had nothing to hide" and "did not know" who killed Lee. 

A judge vacated Syed's life sentence with the support of then Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby

But a Maryland appellate court reinstated that conviction on the grounds Lee's family was not given appropriate notice. 

In two weeks, Maryland's Supreme Court will decide whether to send Syed back to prison or again throw out his conviction.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren asked Syed if he was prepared for the possibility of going back behind bars. 

"I know I had nothing to do with Hae's murder," he responded. "I'm absolutely an innocent person, and I've always fought hard. We've always fought hard for justice for Hae and to prove who is responsible for it. So, I would keep my faith in that, and that's what's held me intact for all these years."

Syed has spent most of his life in prison. Police first arrested him when he was 17.

"The hardest thing to wrap my mind around is what if I was to go back to prison and the greatest fear that I've ever had is my mother and father passing away, and I'm still in there," he told Hellgren. "That's not even speaking about the harm and emotional suffering that it causes them. For the past year, every single day we would wake up thinking, 'What if Adnan has to go back to prison?'"

Syed claims a former prosecutor in the attorney general's office—who is now a Baltimore County judge—overreached and helped secure a lawyer for the Lee family last year.

"There are two families involved here," he said. "This idea that the parties involved set the hearing date up soon was to cause harm to Hae's family couldn't be farther from the truth."

The case gained international attention after the "Serial" podcast exposed problems with the conviction.

At his news conference Tuesday, Syed laid out why he believes he was wrongly convicted including jurors being presented with unreliable cell phone location data.

He also cited his original attorney's failure to call alibi witness Asia McClain and is now claiming one of the original prosecutors lied under oath when he testified at an appeals hearing that Syed's own family pressured McClain to say she was with him at the time of the murder. 

Syed also said prosecutors withheld information that someone else threatened to kill Lee, which former state's attorney Marilyn Mosby's office revealed last year.

He said after he regained his freedom last September, that same former prosecutor then leaked information to discredit that threat which is now being used against him on appeal. 

Syed also discussed rejecting a past plea deal offered by former Attorney General Brian Frosh. WJZ previously spoke to Syed's lawyer Erica Suter about the deal

He discussed his disagreements with Frosh, who claimed last year his office never withheld any evidence

Syed did not get the response he was seeking from current Attorney General Anthony Brown. Less than two hours after Syed ended his question and answer session with reporters, a spokesperson for Brown's office told WJZ in a 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."

The Maryland Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on October 5th. Stay with WJZ and CBS News Baltimore for updates.

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