Why Did Montenegro Court Deny Extradition of Do Kwon?
The Appeals Court of Montenegro has reversed the decision of the High Court for the extradition of Do Kwon, co-founder of Terraform Labs, to the United States, in response to an appeal from his legal defense team.
The Appeals Court stated that the Higher Court failed to adhere to proper procedures, thereby breaching standards by approving Kwon’s extradition to the US.
Terraform Labs Co-Founder Do Kwon To Remain in Montenegro
A recent report indicates that the High Court was not authorized to make the executive decision regarding Kwon’s extradition to the US in December 2023.
“Specifically, the court of first instance failed to consider that this case involved an expedited extradition procedure, in which the court, pursuant to Article 29 of the Law on International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, and not the Minister of Justice as in regular proceedings, decides on extradition.”
Furthermore, the appeals court alleged that the High Court did not “conclusively determine the sequence of the arrival of extradition requests” from the Republic of South Korea and the US.
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In December 2023, BeInCrypto reported that Kwon was facing an extension of his detention in a Montenegro jail for an additional two months. This was amidst the ongoing dispute regarding the potential country to which he could be extradited.
Do Kwon Legal Uncertainty Continues in Montenegro
“The court in Podgorica ruled that the term in custody, which would have expired on Friday, be prolonged by two months to Feb. 15,”
The High Court initially approved extradition to the US, as opposed to extradition to South Korea. Subsequently, Kwon had the appeal overturned.
Do Kwon initially appealed against the High Court of Podgorica’s decision of extradition, saying:
“I do not accept the court’s decision to extradite me, so I do not submit to the court’s decision.”
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On January 16, the SEC granted Kwon’s request to delay his trial until mid-March, enabling him to attend in person.
Authorities have detained Kwon in Montenegro since March. Both US and South Korean prosecutors are pursuing jurisdiction over him.
In recent developments, on February 5, authorities extradited Han Chang-joon, the former Chief Financial Officer of the now-defunct Terraform Labs, from Montenegro to South Korea.