In a surprising turn of events, the Appellate Court in Montenegro has rejected a previous decision by a high court in the country approving the extradition of Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon to either South Korea or the United States.
Montenegro Appeals Court Cancels Do Kwon’s Extradition Approval
The Montenegro Appeals Court has annulled the decision of the High Court of Podgorica approving the extradition of fallen crypto star Do Kwon.
Per the Dec. 19 official statement, the Appellate Court highlighted some issues in the legal process, specifically the lack of clear reasons and facts in the decision by the High Court.
The Podgorica High Court in November 2023 determined that the legal requirements for Kwon’s extradition to the U.S. or South Korea were met, leaving the final decision to Montenegro’s Justice Minister Andrej Milovic. Tuesday’s ruling indicates that Kwon’s defense has successfully appealed that decision.
The Appellate Court nullified the extradition decision because the investigating judge failed to notify Do Kwon of the reasons and evidence for the U.S. request and allow him to present his defense as required by law. The apex court has ordered the case to be returned to the Podgorica Basic Court for a retrial.
Do Kwon is currently serving a four-month sentence in Montenegro for document forgery. The disgraced crypto mogul is facing charges in his home country and the U.S. for his alleged involvement in the collapse of Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) and the platform’s native asset LUNA in May 2022. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused Kwon of orchestrating a fraudulent scheme that wiped out over $40 billion off the crypto market in a matter of days.
As previously reported by ZyCrypto, there were rumors that Montenegro planned to extradite the former Terra CEO to the U.S. The report cited unnamed individuals familiar with discussions had by Minister Milovic.
Bloomberg reported last week that Kwon’s detention in Montenegro was extended at the request of South Korea and the U.S. after his attorneys filed an appeal against the extradition ruling. His detention period was scheduled to end on Dec.15 but was pushed to February 15, 2024.
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