Uncertainty Surrounds Do Kwon’s Extradition After Legal Challenge

Terra co-founder Do Kwon
The extradition of Terra co-founder Do Kwon to South Korea has hit a roadblock following a legal challenge from Montenegro’s top prosecutor.

Do Kwon has been held in Montenegro since March 2023 when he was arrested for using counterfeit Costa Rican documents to travel to Dubai.

Montenegro is considering competing extradition requests for Do Kwon from South Korea, his home country, and the United States, where he also faces criminal charges.

Do Kwon had allegedly evaded authorities for months after the collapse of Terraform Labs and the Terra ecosystem, which amounted to a $40 billion loss in May 2022.

The pending extradition of Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon to South Korea seems to have been delayed after Montenegro’s top prosecutor issued a legal challenge on Thursday.

According to a statement translated from Montenegro’s Office of the Supreme State Prosecutor, the High Court’s decision to extradite Kwon to South Korea rather than the U.S., and the subsequent confirmation by the appellate court, were conducted through “abbreviated proceedings” that exceeded their jurisdiction.

The statement clarified that the decision on Kwon’s extradition rests solely with the country’s minister of justice. Interestingly, the statement referred to him only as “a citizen of the Republic of South Korea,” without directly naming Kwon.

Montenegro found itself in the middle of a dispute between the U.S. and South Korea a year ago when Kwon and his colleague Han Chang-joon were arrested for attempting to use fake Costa Rican passports while en route to Dubai. Kwon’s arrest occurred six months after Interpol issued a “red notice” for him and 10 months after the collapse of Terraform Labs and the Terra ecosystem.

Kwon faces criminal charges in both the U.S. and South Korea but has been resisting extradition since his arrest, appealing several court decisions with mixed success.

Han was extradited to South Korea in February, raising expectations that Kwon would follow suit. However, Kwon’s Montenegrin lawyer, Goran Rodic, suggested that Kwon’s extradition to South Korea was likely after March 23, but the timeline and his final destination are once again uncertain.

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