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The Tug-of-War for Do Kwon: Will the U.S. or South Korea Prevail?

2 Mins read

The ongoing legal battle over the extradition of Terraform Labs co-founder and former CEO Do Kwon has taken another twist, as United States prosecutors vow to contest the latest Montenegrin high court ruling that has set Kwon on a path toward extradition to South Korea.


TLDR

  • United States prosecutors will contest the latest Montenegrin high court ruling that has placed Terraform Labs’ Do Kwon headed for South Korea extradition.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that it “continues to seek Kwon’s extradition in accordance with relevant international and bilateral agreements and Montenegrin law.”
  • South Korea and the United States have been fighting over Kwon’s extradition since his arrest in March 2023.
  • Kwon faces eight charges in the U.S., including fraud and market manipulation, and allegations of fraud and breaches of capital markets law in South Korea.
  • Kwon’s lawyers have indicated he would prefer to be extradited to South Korea to be closer to his family, where he reportedly faces a 40-year prison term.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has made it clear that it will continue to seek Kwon’s extradition, emphasizing its commitment to ensuring that all individuals are subject to the rule of law.

This development comes amidst an ongoing tussle between South Korea and the United States, both of which have been vying for Kwon’s extradition since his arrest in March 2023.

Kwon, who faces eight charges in the U.S., including fraud and market manipulation stemming from the $40 billion collapse of the Terra ecosystem, also faces allegations of fraud and breaches of capital markets law in his native South Korea.

The Montenegrin judicial system has been the stage for this legal drama, with the High Court in Podgorica initially ruling in favor of Kwon’s extradition to the United States on Feb. 21.

However, two weeks later, the Montenegro Appeals Court overturned the lower court’s decision, citing “significant violations of the provisions of criminal procedure” and putting Kwon back on track for extradition to South Korea.

According to Montenegro’s legal framework, the U.S. has the option to appeal the decision to the Montenegro Supreme Court, which sits above the Montenegro Appeals Court as the highest court in the country.

Kwon’s lawyers have previously indicated that he would prefer to be extradited to South Korea to be closer to his family, despite facing a potential 40-year prison term in his home country.

The ongoing extradition saga has drawn significant attention from the global crypto community, as the collapse of the Terra ecosystem, which Kwon played a central role in, had far-reaching consequences for investors and the broader cryptocurrency market.

As the legal battle continues, all eyes will be on the next moves of the U.S. prosecutors and the decisions of the Montenegrin courts, which will ultimately determine the fate of Do Kwon and the jurisdiction in which he will face the consequences of his alleged actions.


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