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A court in Montenegro denies Do Kwon’s motion to halt his extradition to South Korea

A prior ruling that authorized Do Kwon’s extradition to South Korea to face criminal charges regarding the demise of his cryptocurrency enterprise Terra will not be reversed by an appeals court in Montenegro.

The definitive decision to extradite Do Kwon to his country of origin has been reached by Montenegro. On March 20, the Appeals Court of Montenegro issued a statement in which it rejected the appeal of Do Kwon’s attorneys and upheld the Podgorica High Court’s decision to extradite him to South Korea. The time-frame for the execution of any transfers was not specified.

A high court in the Balkan nation declared earlier this month that Kwon may be extradited to South Korea to face criminal charges related to the May 2022 collapse of his multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency enterprise. Wednesday’s notice indicates that Kwon’s appeal of that decision was unsuccessful.

In connection with the alleged misappropriation of investments exceeding $40 billion, Kwon’s extradition was sought by both South Korea and the United States. His business associate, Hon Chang-joon, was extradited from Montenegro to South Korea last month. Interpol issued an international warrant for his extradition from the Podgorica airport on February 5, where he was returned to his country of origin.

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

Kwon was apprehended by Montenegrin authorities in March 2023 on suspicion of utilizing forged travel documents. Since then, the Terraform co-founder has continued to reside in the country despite competing extradition requests from the United States and South Korea.

The criminal proceedings against Kwon in the United States, in which he is charged with eight counts of felony, will presumably continue despite his inability to present in person. A Montenegrin court ordered Kwon’s extradition to the United States in February; however, his attorneys prevailed in their appeal of that ruling in March, which shifted the focus to South Korea’s position.

The demise of Terraform Labs in May 2022, which occurred under Kwon’s tenure, was partially attributable to the company’s management of tokens formerly known as TerraUSD and Luna. It is probable that the platform’s demise played a role in the 2022 cryptocurrency market downturn, during which a number of companies filed for bankruptcy or otherwise ceased operations.

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