Do Kwon appeals extradition order amidst allegations of financial crimes

In this post:

  • Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon appeals extradition order over alleged financial crimes, causing delays in the decision on his destination for trial.
  • Kwon, who faced arrest after months on the run, prefers extradition to South Korea, while U.S. authorities claim jurisdiction in a crypto fraud case.
  • The international manhunt for Kwon and the resulting stain on cryptocurrency’s reputation continues to overshadow Terra’s prominence in the crypto industry.

Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terraform Labs, is currently embroiled in a legal battle as he appeals the Montenegrin High Court’s decision to extradite him to face criminal charges related to alleged financial crimes. Kwon, who had been on the run for several months, was arrested in Montenegro in March while traveling under false documents, marking a dramatic turn in the international hunt following his disappearance from Singapore.

Extradition appeal filed

Do Kwon’s legal team has submitted an appeal challenging the extradition order issued by the Montenegrin High Court. This appeal has prompted the Court of Appeal to re-examine the extradition ruling, causing a delay in the Justice Ministry’s decision on which country to extradite Do Kwon. The original deadline for the decision was set to be before December 12.

During the initial extradition trial, Do Kwon expressed his preference for being extradited to South Korea rather than the United States. However, U.S. authorities had claimed jurisdiction over Kwon as early as February when his whereabouts were unknown. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had filed a complaint alleging that Kwon had orchestrated a multi-billion dollar crypto fraud involving an algorithmic stablecoin.

Local legal experts have expressed skepticism about the likelihood of the country’s Court of Appeal overturning the prior extradition order. They view the appeal as having limited efficacy. Nevertheless, this legal maneuver may grant Do Kwon more time before he potentially faces the criminal charges brought against him.

The warrant for Do Kwon’s arrest was issued in September 2022 following extensive criminal investigations by South Korean prosecutors. Terraform Labs, the blockchain and cryptocurrency project co-founded by Kwon, released a statement asserting that Kwon’s location remained confidential due to concerns about the security threat posed by the allegations of financial wrongdoing.

However, it was later revealed that Do Kwon had been evading authorities, leading Interpol to issue a “red notice” for his apprehension. During an interview with Laura Shin in October 2022, Do Kwon neither confirmed nor denied his presence in Singapore, citing personal safety concerns. Speculations were circulating that he might be located in Serbia at the time.

Arrest in Montenegro

Months later, in a dramatic turn of events, Do Kwon and his assistant, Han Chang-joon, were detained in Montenegro while attempting to board a flight bound for Dubai. Montenegro shares a southwestern border with Serbia, where rumors had suggested Kwon might have been hiding.

As Do Kwon continues to contest extradition, the stain on the reputation of the cryptocurrency industry remains. Terra, the blockchain platform developed by Terraform Labs, had gained prominence in the crypto space before the allegations surfaced. However, the ongoing legal saga and the allegations of financial misconduct have cast a shadow over Terra and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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