Adnan Syed’s lawyers will be allowed to present new evidence in his case after a court ruling on November 6.
The 35-year-old subject of the hit podcast Serial is serving a life sentence for the murder of Hae Min Lee in 1999.
Adnan Syed’s defense team is trying to reopen the case based on some of the questions raised in the Serial podcast over whether Syed had received a fair trial.
A judge in Baltimore has allowed lawyers to submit new evidence for the first time since his conviction.
Serial, which was released in weekly installments at the end of 2014, became a global hit, breaking records as the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads on iTunes.
In the podcast, journalists went through every detail in the investigation into the death of Hae Min Lee, for which her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted. Apparent errors and possible new evidence were discovered by the Serial team, leading to calls for a new investigation.
Lawyers will now be allowed to present new evidence on two fronts: the reliability of mobile phone records and the testimony of a potential alibi.
In the 2000 trial, prosecutors relied heavily on mobile phone records that allegedly placed Pakistani-American Adnan Syed at a park in Baltimore where Hae Min Lee’s body was buried.
Adnan Syed, who was 17 at the time, has always maintained his innocence.
However, a motion filed in court in August said a newly recovered mobile phone document showed “the cell tower evidence was misleading and should have never been admitted at trial”.
The new hearing, a date for which has yet to be decided, will also hear evidence from a potential alibi for Adnan Syed.
Asia McClain, a friend of Adnan Syed’s who was not heard in the original trial, claims to have seen him in a library at the time of the suspected killing.
The fact that Adnan Syed’s first lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, failed to submit this evidence in the original trial was one of the arguments used to win him the right to appeal in February.
Court papers show the hearing will also look at why Adnan Syed’s defense team did not present Asi McLain as a witness and whether there was “potential prosecutorial misconduct” as a result.