Montenegro Court of Appeal revokes Do Kwon’s extradition again

Montenegro Court of Appeal revokes Do Kwon’s extradition again

By Charles Thuo - min read
  • Montenegro Court revokes Do Kwon’s extradition, citing procedural violations.
  • Former Terra CFO Han Chang-joon extradited to South Korea after Montenegro sentence.
  • US SEC trial postponed, hinting at legal manoeuvres amidst extradition proceedings.

In a significant turn of events, the Court of Appeals in Montenegro has revoked the decision to extradite Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terra, to South Korea and the United States. This decision follows a series of legal battles and extradition attempts stemming from charges related to the collapse of Terra’s stablecoin. It follows a similar decision by the Appellate Court of Montenegro in November 2023 before the Montenegrin High Court upheld Do Kown’s extradition request for a second time in December.

Meanwhile, Kwon’s former CFO, Han Chang-joon, has been extradited to South Korea, facing potential life imprisonment.

Extraditing Do Kwon incomprehensible

In granting Do Kwon’s second appeal against extradition the Court of Appeal cited significant violations of criminal procedure provisions. The appellate court ruled that the decision to extradite Kwon was incomprehensible and failed to properly handle extradition requests from South Korea and the United States.

The appellate court clarified that extradition decisions should be made by the courts, not the Minister of Justice, as per the Law on International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. This decision marks a crucial development in Kwon’s fight against extradition, providing hope for a fair trial and due process.

The case has now been returned to the court of first instance for retrial, indicating a potential reprieve for Kwon in his legal battle.

Former Terra CFO extradited to South Korea

While Kwon’s extradition battle continues, his former CFO, Han Chang-joon, has been extradited to South Korea after serving a prison sentence in Montenegro. 

Chang-joon, arrested alongside Kwon in March 2023 while attempting to leave the country, now faces potential life imprisonment in South Korea. His extradition underscores the severity of the legal consequences tied to the Terra-LUNA crisis, which rocked the crypto market with a staggering $60 billion collapse.

In parallel, the postponement of the civil trial brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Terraform Labs and Kwon hints at ongoing legal manoeuvres. The delay is likely aimed at facilitating Kwon’s extradition from Montenegro, signalling the complex interplay between legal jurisdictions and regulatory actions.

As Do Kwon’s extradition battle unfolds, the outcome remains uncertain. However, these recent developments underscore the high stakes involved for Kwon, Terra and the broader cryptocurrency industry amidst heightened regulatory scrutiny and legal challenges.