Do Kwon Appeal of South Korea Extradition Rejected by Montenegro Court

The decision is now final and cannot be appealed by either Kwon or the U.S., the Terra founder's lawyer told CoinDesk.

AccessTimeIconMar 20, 2024 at 2:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 21, 2024 at 5:29 a.m. UTC
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  • A Montenegro appeals court won't overturn a previous ruling approving Do Kwon's extradition to South Korea to face criminal charges over the collapse of his crypto enterprise Terra.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice is also seeking Kwon's extradition and has said it will appeal Montenegro's decision to send him to South Korea.
  • Kwon's lawyer told CoinDesk that Wednesday's decision is final and added that there is no timeline for the extradition.

A Montenegro appeals court has rejected a bid from Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon to reverse a ruling approving his extradition to South Korea, an official notice from Wednesday shows.

Earlier this month, a high court in the Balkan nation ruled that Kwon can be extradited to South Korea to face criminal charges concerning the collapse of his multi-billion dollar crypto enterprise in May 2022. Wednesday's notice shows Kwon had unsuccessfully appealed that decision.

Do Kwon's attorney, Goran Rodic, told CoinDesk that the extradition was now final, and neither the U.S. nor Kwon could further appeal the decision. There is no timeline yet for when he might be extradited, he added. A U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

Kwon, who was arrested in Montenegro and charged with carrying falsified official documents, successfully appealed previous high court decisions approving his extradition to the U.S. The appeals court rejected previous extradition decisions by the high court saying the extradition requests approved weren't legally sound.

"Deciding on the appeal of the defendant’s counsel, the panel of the Court of Appeals assessed that the first-instance court had correctly established that the request of the Republic of South Korea arrived earlier in the order of arrival compared to the request of the USA, so it correctly assessed this and other criteria," Wednesday's notice said.

When CoinDesk asked the DOJ whether they would be appealing the latest decision to extradite Do Kwon to South Korea, the spokesperson declined to comment. However, the U.S. Department of Justice had earlier that it would continue to seek Kwon's extradition to the U.S.

Amitoj Singh contributed reporting.

UPDATE (March 21, 05:20 UTC): Adds comment from DO spokesperson.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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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.

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