Montenegro Court blocks extradition of Terra’s Do Kwon to U.S.

The Montenegro Court of Appeals has revoked the extradition of Do Kwon, co-founder of Terraform Labs to the U.S., siding with the appeal made by his defense attorneys. This move overturns the prior decision made by the country’s High Court on February 20.

Terra founder Do Kwon

Do Kwon’s legal troubles stem from charges related to the collapse of the Terra ecosystem in May 2022.

The Appeals Court highlighted concerns regarding procedural issues, specifically citing a lack of clear reasoning and facts in the High Court’s extradition decision. This discrepancy provided grounds for the revocation, as stated in an official statement released on Tuesday.

This ruling adds another chapter to the legal drama surrounding Do Kwon. The Appellate Court’s decision, made on March 5, overturned the High Court of Podgorica’s approval of Kwon’s extradition to the United States.

Previously, the High Court in Podgorica had granted extradition for Kwon on February 20 to face criminal prosecution in the U.S. for various offenses. However, the Appellate Court panel found that this decision was marred by “significant violations of the provisions of criminal procedure” under local laws.

This development follows previous appeals won by Do Kwon in December 2023 and February 2024 regarding his extradition to either the U.S. or South Korea. Despite these victories, the High Court reaffirmed the validity of the extradition requests, leading to Kwon’s subsequent appeal.

The case will now be returned to the first-instance court for reconsideration, marking another twist in the prolonged extradition process that began when Kwon was arrested in Montenegro in March 2023. Both the U.S. and South Korea have sought his extradition, igniting debates over his destination.

Last week, it was reported that Kwon is likely to miss the start of his U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fraud trial on March 25 due to delays in his extradition proceedings.

The legal proceedings against Kwon have been ongoing since last year. The SEC charged Terraform Labs and Kwon in February over the collapse of TerraUSD and Luna, which led to the loss of $40 billion in investor wealth. South Korean prosecutors have levied similar charges against Kwon and Terra affiliates.