- The Appellate Court of Montenegro has affirmed the decision to halt the extradition of Do Kwon
- Kwon appealed the initial ruling in December and this has been approved
- His extradition warrant will now be examined again, meaning he could still face justice in the US and South Korea
The Appellate Court of Montenegro has affirmed the decision to halt the extradition of former Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon, citing the need for more time to analyze it. This marks a second victory for Kwon in the matter following his initial appeal victory, with this second instance reinforcing the initial ruling that the decision to extradite was rushed. Both countries want Kwon on charges relating the his operation of Terraform Labs, the owner of the Terra protocol which collapsed so spectacularly in 2022.
Appeals Court Agrees That Extradition Was Rushed
The High Court in Podgorica had initially approved Kwon’s extradition to South Korea and the United States on multiple criminal charges in December, but Kwon’s defense successfully appealed this decision later that month after the Appellate Court found the initial ruling flawed, citing violations of criminal procedure. Specifically, they stated that the decision lacked clarity and failed to consider the specific circumstances of the case.
This week’s ruling affirms that decision, with the Appellate Court emphasizing that the shortened extradition procedure requires careful scrutiny by the court, rather than solely relying on the Minister of Justice’s decision. Moreover, the court highlighted the importance of determining the order of extradition requests from different countries, a factor overlooked in the original decision.
Kwon Facing Justice in Two Countries
The US Securities and Exchange Commission initiated proceedings against Kwon and Terraform Labs in 2023, accusing him of masterminding a multi-billion-dollar crypto asset securities fraud and concealing information about the protocol’s stability.
Simultaneously, Korean law enforcement pursued Kwon for violating capital market rules through Terraform Labs, leading to an arrest warrant issued against him and founding member Nicholas Platias by the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office’s Financial and Securities Crime Unit.
Kwon has consistently denied the allegations levied against him, but there are plenty still nursing losses who believe otherwise.