Adnan Syed case: Attorneys for Hae Min Lee’s brother escalate allegations ahead of oral arguments in appeal

BALTIMORE — Baltimore prosecutors and a city judge collaborated behind closed doors to “choreograph” the hearing where Adnan Syed’s conviction stemming from the killing of Hae

Min Lee was overturned, attorneys representing her brother in an appeal seeking to restore his conviction have alleged. In a filing Monday evening — the last before oral

arguments for the case in the Appellate Court of Maryland on Feb. 2 — Young Lee’s lawyers ramped up claims of impropriety in the proceedings that freed Syed, while doubling down

on previous legal arguments and distinguishing their client’s position from that of Maryland’s attorney general’s office. Attorneys for Lee are asking the appeals court to

reinstate Syed’s murder charges from the 1999 killing and to order a do-over of the Sept. 14 hearing where Syed’s conviction was vacated. They say city prosecutors, under

then-State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, didn’t give Lee adequate notice of the hearing and that Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn didn’t give Lee a meaningful opportunity to

participate. Before she held a public hearing vacating Syed’s conviction, Phinn met with a prosecutor and Syed’s defense attorney in her chambers to review evidence

supporting the prosecutors’ motion to vacate Syed’s conviction. In a new argument, Lee’s attorneys say that meeting violated the legal principle of open court proceedings,

citing court opinions in cases of news organizations suing governments and courts.