Terra’s Do Kwon Wins Extradition Appeal in Montenegro as Case Heads for Retrial

Kwon is facing fraud charges in the U.S. around his role in Terra's collapse.

AccessTimeIconMar 5, 2024 at 12:52 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:39 p.m. UTC
  • The legal saga around Do Kwon’s extradition will continue after a higher court sent the case to the initial court for a retrial.
  • This could mean Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, may not be extradited to the U.S.

Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, may not be extradited to the U.S. after a Montenegro court overturned a previous extradition ruling.

The Appellate Court of Montenegro quashed an earlier decision of a court in Podgorica, returning the case to the first instance court for retrial and decision-making, the release on the court’s website said.

Kwon had appealed against his extradition request to the U.S., where he faces fraud charges related to the collapse of the Terra ecosystem.

Terra collapsed in mid-2022, leading to billions of dollars of investor funds being wiped out. Kwon fled to Montenegro after Terra’s failure but was arrested on charges of possession of falsified official documents. He is serving a sentence of four months in prison while the country approves his extradition and decides the destination.

The U.S. and South Korean governments have asked for Kwon’s extradition for his role in Terra’s implosion.

According to the announcement, the case is heading for a retrial because "there are no clear and valid reasons for decisive facts regarding the order of arrival of requests" for extradition from the U.S. and South Korea.

The Terraform Labs co-founder’s lawyer, Goran Rodic, has previously told CoinDesk that local courts were facing political pressure in order to push the extradition through.

The latest legal victory for Kwon doesn't necessarily mean that he cannot be extradited at all. The case will be heard again by the court that initially adjudicated on the matter. Therefore, for the time being, the extradition of Kwon is delayed, if not cancelled.

In early February, Kwon’s former CFO at Terraform, Han Chang-Joon, was extradited to South Korea by Montenegrin authorities.

UPDATE (March 5, 13:20 UTC): Adds details and updates headline.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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