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Terra founder Do Kwon wins second extradition appeal in Montenegro

terra-do-kwon-extradition-appeal-montenegro
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Terra founder Do Kwon wins second extradition appeal in Montenegro

The Montenegro Court of Appeals revoked Do Kwon’s extradition to his native South Korea or the U.S. for a second time. 

Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon secured victory in his appeal to overturn a decision from the High Court of Montenegro allowing his extradition from the country. The Appeals Court cited discrepancies in the process that initially ordered his removal to the U.S. or his home country of South Korea.

According to the Court of Appeals, the High Court of Montenegro did not provide concise reasoning in approving Kwon’s extradition. Additionally, the order in which requests from the two countries arrived was unclear, and facts were not treated wholly in line with local laws. 

Do Kwon’s lawyer, Goran Rodic, previously suggested that political pressure from foreign governments influenced the extradition procedure. 

In December, Kwon won an appeal to revoke the High Court’s ruling that initially approved his extradition. However, the same court again decided on Dec. 29 that legal arguments for his repatriation were sound. This was the second time Montenegro’s High Court had reaffirmed the verdict, prompting another appeal from Kwon and his legal advisors. 

The case has now been returned to the High Court for reassessment. 

Kwon’s handover to South Korean or U.S. authorities has stretched over months following his arrest and imprisonment in Montenegro. In March 2023, the former Terra CEO was detained at a Podgorica airport with falsified travel documents.

Following a guilty verdict for passport forgery, Kwon was sentenced to four months in a Balkan prison, and his sentence was extended while local authorities attended to his extradition. This came after he was declared an international fugitive by Interpol over his connection to the multi-billion collapse of Terra, a blockchain ecosystem created by Kwon.

Kwon was arrested alongside former Terraform Labs CFO Han Chang-joon, who has been extradited to South Korea, where he may likely face criminal charges.