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Do Kwon’s Extradition Appeal Denied

Do Kwon’s Extradition Appeal Denied

Jimmy Aki

Last updated:

| 2 min read

Image of a gavel symbolizing the Montenegro Court's Do Kwon extradition decision.

Source: Pexels

A Montenegro appeal court denied Do Kwon’s extradition appeal on Wednesday to overturn a ruling mandating his extradition to South Korea.

Following a high court ruling in Podgorica on March 5, Kwon is set to be extradited to face charges related to the collapse of Terra in May 2022. His partner, Han Chang-joon has already been extradited to South Korea.

Kwon’s lawyer, Goran Rodic clarified that the ruling is now final and cannot be overturned, either by Kwon or the U.S. authorities.

Do Kwon Extradition Requests by South Korea and the U.S.

Both South Korea and the U.S. have appealed to extradite Kwon, however, Montenegro’s minister of justice has now given preference to South Korea.

The appeal court stated that South Korea’s request was granted over the United States’ own because it was received earlier. It was also noted that there’s currently no set timeline for Do Kwon’s extradition to South Korea.

“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.” the court stated.

The United States DOJ charged Kwon with eight criminal counts in March 2023 and said it would still pursue Kwon’s extradition to the U.S.

The DOJ spokesperson did not immediately disclose if they still intend to appeal the latest Montenegro decision, however.

Do Kwon’s Arrest and Terra’s Collapse

Do Kwon is the architect behind the failed crypto project TerraUSD stablecoin, launched in 2022.

As a stablecoin designed to be a utility token on the blockchain, Terra USD was pegged algorithmically 1:1 to the U.S. dollar.

The stablecoin lost its pegging, however, resulting in its collapse alongside LUNA, the Terra sister token.

The United States and South Korean authorities went after Kwon, who escaped to Singapore to avoid South Korean prosecutors from opening his fraud charges.

Kwon was later apprehended in Montenegro and sentenced to four months imprisonment after he was caught trying to escape using a forged Costa Rican passport.

As it stands, South Korean authorities are escalating efforts to ensure Kwon faces prosecution for his alleged fraud cases and tax evasion.

Kwon, who denied the charges, claimed that the $40 billion implosion of the Terra ecosystem resulted from market forces and doesn’t indicate any criminal action.

Now that the appeal has been rejected, Do Kwon’s extradition to South Korea should then be facilitated after his sentencing is concluded on March 23, pending any further developmens.

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