Montenegro court revokes Do Kwon extradition, accepts appeal

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A court in Montenegro has again canceled the extradition of Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, accepting the appeal by Kwon’s defense attorneys.

The Appellate Court of Montenegro accepted the appeal of Kwon’s defense in a panel session on Feb. 7, according to an official announcement by the court.

The new ruling has annulled the previous decision of the High Court in Podgorica dated Dec. 29, 2023, returning the case to the first instance to the court for retrial and decision, the Appellate Court stated.

According to the statement, the Appellate Court found that the previous extradition decision was affected by “significant violations of the provisions of criminal procedure” due to “incomprehensible” wording of the decision.

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“The decision has no reason for decisive facts, and the reasons given are unclear, which is the reason for its cancellation,” the Appellate Court argued.

The latest decision on Kwon’s extradition by Montenegro’s Appellate Court is yet another event in the long history of his extradition process in the aftermath of Terra’s collapse in May 2022. According to financial regulators in South Korea and the United States, Terraform Labs and its co-founder Kwon orchestrated a massive fraudulent scheme leading to multibillion dollar losses by investors.

Kwon was arrested in Montenegro in March 2023 while attempting to use falsified travel documents to leave the country. A South Korean national, Kwon was wanted not only in South Korea but also in the United States.

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The Appellate Court previously canceled Kwon’s extradition approval to either the United States or South Korea in mid-December 2023, arguing that the final decision should be made by Montenegro’s minister of justice.

In other news from the Terra saga, former Terraform Labs chief financial officer Han Chang-joon was extradited from Montenegro to South Korea on Feb. 5.

In his trial for fraud in South Korea, Terraform Labs co-founder Shin Hyun-Seong, also known as Daniel Shin, blamed the Terraform collapse on the operation of the protocol “external attacks carried out by Do-hyung Kwon [Do Kwon].”

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