I recently wrote an article listing the top five podcasts everyone should listen to, including ‘Serial’ – the subject of which has since seen a major development as Adnan Syed has been granted a new trial, which marks a major victory for Syed and for the millions of ‘Serial’ listeners who believe him to be innocent.

Syed, now 35, was convicted in 2000 of the murder of Hae Min Lee, his high school girlfriend. Syed argued his lawyer at the time, Cristina Gutierrez, had provided ineffective council and failed to investigate the claims of Asia McClain, who may have been able to supply a crucial alibi. Judge Welsh disagreed with these claims, but granted a second trial on the basis Gutierrez failed to cross-examine the state’s expert witness on the reliability of cell phone records which placed Syed at the scene.

C Justin Brown, Syed’s new lawyer, quoted ‘Serial’ host Sarah Koenig at the press conference on Thursday: “She said this case is just hanging by a string. Statistically it was over. We have come back from that and we have incrementally won and won and won and gained more and more traction. This is us getting over the hill.” He continued that he expected the state to appeal the decision, saying: “We’re prepared to fight. Our heels are dug in … We know the state’s not going to give up and we’ll be ready.”

Earlier in the year, Syed’s mother told The Guardian she believed racism had played a part in her son’s arrest. “For me it was discrimination,” she said. “He was a 17-year-old Muslim. If his name was something else they wouldn’t touch him but his name was Adnan Syed and his parents were from Pakistan and they forgot he was born and raised in America.” Syed’s family and friends who have played a key part in the appeal for a new trial have expressed delight at the result, and are hopeful of a good outcome in their favour.

The podcast covered Syed’s hearing back in February with three 15-minute episodes, but Koenig is yet to issue a response to the news and so it is unclear whether or not ‘Serial’ (which by February 2016 had been downloaded over 80 million times) will pick up where it left off.