Do Kwon's $428K Bail Request in Fake Passport Case Approved by Montenegro Court

A previous approval was annulled by a higher court after it was determined the Terra founder's finances were not sufficiently assessed in the first decision.

AccessTimeIconJun 5, 2023 at 8:08 a.m. UTC

The Montenegro court handling Terra founder Do Kwon's passport forgery case has accepted his 400,000 euro ($428,000) bail request after a higher court annulled a previous approval, according to a Friday announcement.

In March, Kwon, along with former Terra executive Han Chang-joon, were arrested in Montenegro for allegedly attempting to travel with falsified documents. Authorities in South Korea had been searching for Kwon after his multi-billion dollar crypto enterprise collapsed in May last year. Since his arrest, both South Korea and the U.S. have requested Kwon's extradition to face criminal charges following his trial in Montenegro.

The basic court in the capital city of Podgorica had already approved a bail request from Kwon's lawyers for the same amount, but it was annulled after prosecution appealed the decision, and a higher court found that the first approval was not based on a sound assessment of the defendants' property based on "concrete evidence."

"The court appreciated the fact that they are persons who are not Montenegrin citizens, which is why it accepted their statements about the value of the property they own, which were supported by concrete evidence," the basic court said in Friday's statement.

The case also requires authorities in Belgium to verify the authenticity of travel documents Kwon and Han had in their possession, and the accused could face a prison sentence of up to five years, the court said. Contrary to the prosecution's opinion, the court said a sum of 400,000 euros "cannot represent an insignificant part of their property."

The two South Korean nationals are due back in court on June 16. The prosecution has three days to appeal the bail decision.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.