In a recent twist in the international legal saga surrounding Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon, US prosecutors have announced they will challenge the Montenegrin Supreme Court’s decision to extradite Kwon to South Korea. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has confirmed its intention to continue pursuing Kwon’s extradition to the United States, in accordance with applicable international and bilateral agreements and Montenegrin law. This according to a report from Bloomberg on March 7.

Legal battle after extradition requests

The legal battle for Kwon began after both South Korea and the United States filed extradition requests for him in March 2023. Since then, a tug-of-war has erupted between the two countries over who should try Kwon first.

A decisive blow appeared to have been struck when the Supreme Court in Podgorica, Montenegro, ruled on February 21 in favor of Kwon’s extradition to the United States. However, a surprising twist followed when the Montenegrin Court of Appeal two weeks later overturned the lower court’s ruling due to “significant violations of criminal procedural law provisions,” putting Kwon back on the path to extradition to South Korea.

Eight US charges against Do Kwon

Under the Montenegrin legal system, the United States has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Montenegro, the highest legal body in the country.

Do Kwon is facing 8 charges in the United States, including charges of fraud and market manipulation related to the collapse of the $40 billion Terra ecosystem. In South Korea he is accused of fraud and violating capital markets law.

Kwon and his lawyers prefer extradition to South Korea, closer to his family, where he could face a 40-year prison sentence. Following an arrest warrant issued by South Korean prosecutors in September 2022, Kwon was arrested by Montenegrin authorities in March 2023 for traveling on a fake Costa Rican passport. After spending a brief period on bail, Kwon served at least four months in prison before being transferred to extradition custody.


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