Do Kwon’s extradition revoked again, granted appeal by Montenegro court

Quick Take

  • A Montenegro court has again canceled the approval of the Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon’s extradition to South Korea or the U.S.

The Montenegro Court of Appeals has revoked the extradition of Do Kwon to South Korea or the U.S. for a second time, accepting the appeal of the Terraform Labs co-founder’s defense attorneys and annulling the decision by the country’s High Court in December.

Do Kwon previously won an appeal on Dec. 14, overturning the High Court's original decision that the extradition requests were legally sound on Nov. 17. The country's High Court again decided that the requests were valid on Dec. 29, after which Do Kwon re-appealed in January.

The Appeals Court cited issues in the process, particularly the lack of clear reasons and facts in the High Court’s decision, which constitutes grounds for its revocation, according to a statement.

Specifically, the appeals court said there were procedural issues in how the extradition requests were handled, and that the order of the arrival of the requests from South Korea and the U.S. were not unambiguously determined.

The case will now return to the first-instance court to be reconsidered.

Terra ecosystem collapse

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Do Kwon’s extradition had been sought for charges related to financial crimes in the U.S. and South Korea, stemming from the multi-billion dollar collapse of the Terra ecosystem in May 2022. 

Kwon was initially arrested in Montenegro last March, charged with using a fake passport to attempt to leave the country. However, he was freed from jail pending trial after a court agreed to a $436,000 bail in May. Subsequently, in June, a Montenegro court sentenced him to four months in prison after finding him guilty of document forgery. Kwon appealed that court decision, lost the appeal, and was finally sentenced to four months in November.

Kwon was the focus of a worldwide search in September 2022 when global police body Interpol reportedly issued a so-called red notice for him, stemming from the May 2022 collapse of the two tokens he had created — TerraUSD and Luna — which wiped out some $40 billion of investor wealth in a few days.

On Monday, Do Kwon's ex-colleague, former Terraform Labs CFO Han Chang-joon, was extradited from Montenegro to South Korea.


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About Author

James Hunt is a reporter at The Block, based in the UK. As the writer behind The Daily newsletter, James also keeps you up to speed on the latest crypto news every weekday. Prior to joining The Block in 2022, James spent four years as a freelance writer in the industry, contributing to both publications and crypto project content. James’ coverage spans everything from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Layer 2 scaling solutions, avant-garde DeFi protocols, evolving DAO governance structures, trending NFTs and memecoins, regulatory landscapes, crypto company deals and the immersive metaverse. You can get in touch with James on Twitter or Telegram via @humanjets or email him at [email protected].

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