Do Kwon’s extradition to US to be retried in Montenegro
Do Kwon faces extradition requests from both the US and South Korea
Terra and Neeqolah/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
Former Terraform CEO Do Kwon’s extradition is still pending after a court in Montenegro granted his appeal.
A Montenegro High Court previously ruled that the extradition prerequisites had been met, initially paving the way for Kwon to be extradited. Reports even circulated that Montenegro was leaning toward a US extradition before the appellate court heard Kwon’s appeal.
However, lawyers representing Kwon have now successfully asserted that the High Court failed to hear Kwon’s response to the US request for extradition.
“The investigating judge heard the defendant on the request of the Republic of South Korea, who agreed to be extradited by summary procedure in relation to this request, while he did not hear the defendant in relation to the request for extradition to the USA, which was delivered to that court before its hearing,” the appellate court found.
Because the judge failed to inform Kwon on the US request for extradition, the ruling was revoked, as the court “acted contrary” to the law.
The case now goes back to the High Court for both a retrial and a decision. It’s unclear how long the process will take.
However, a court in Podgorica extended Kwon’s custody in Montenegro until February after the US and South Korea asked for Montenegro to extend the extradition detention.
In early December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Montenegro planned to extradite Kwon to the US over South Korea. With the retrial pending, it’s uncertain if officials will still lean towards the US.
Both the US and South Korea have pending charges against Kwon. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has an open case against both Terraform Labs and Kwon, alleging that the two violated securities laws. The collapse of algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) led to a huge crypto crash, the ripple effects saw some crypto lenders — including Voyager and Celsius — filing for bankruptcy.
In South Korea, Kwon faces capital markets violations and fraud charges.
The extradition was previously postponed after a court in Montenegro found Kwon guilty of falsifying travel documents. In June, he was sentenced to four months in prison after his arrest in March.
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