Do Kwon extradition hits snag as prosecutor challenges ruling

The legal back and forth around Do Kwon’s extradition hit another speed bump


Terraform Labs and Adobe Stock modified by Blockworks


Former Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon is set to be extradited to South Korea, unless Montenegro’s top prosecutor stops it. 

According to a press release, the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office asked the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the court’s ruling that Kwon will be extradited to his home country is founded. 

“In the specific case, the court, contrary to the law, conducted abbreviated, instead of regular proceedings and by exceeding the limits of its powers, made a decision on the extradition permit, which is the exclusive competence of the Minister of Justice,” a translated version of the press release said.  

The Supreme Court said on Friday that it was placing a stay on the ruling made by the High Court, which means that Do Kwon will not be extradited to South Korea yet.

This is yet another snag ahead of his upcoming trial in the US. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against the former executive and Terraform Labs was delayed until the end of the month. 

The original delay was ordered so that Kwon had time to be extradited to the US. However, in late February, Kwon’s lawyers told the court that they didn’t expect a US extradition by March.

Read more: What’s happening with ex-Terraform CEO Do Kwon?

Kwon and his lawyers in Montenegro pushed for an extradition to his home country. Both the US and South Korea field requests with Montenegro to extradite the former crypto CEO.

The trial is slated to start on March 25.

Montenegro announced on Wednesday the “confirmed decision” of the High Court on Kwon’s extradition, just a day before the Prosecutor’s Office made its announcement. 

In the earlier press release, the court confirmed its decision, highlighting South Korea’s initial request for Kwon’s extradition. This request was “applied in the case when the extradition of the same person is requested by several countries.”

Late last year, there were mixed reports about a potential US extradition for Kwon, though — due to the handling of the case by the courts — the ruling was subsequently overturned and the case reheard.

Updated March 22, 2024 at 12:26 pm ET: Added that the Supreme Court placed a pause on Do Kwon’s extradition.

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