- Montenegro has released Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon on bail.
- On June 2, the Podgorica district court rejected prosecutors’ appeals.
- Do Kwon and Terraform Labs’ chief finance officer Han Chang-Joon are on stringent bail and cannot leave the latter’s Montenegrin apartment.
Do Kwon, the well-known entrepreneur and blockchain advocate, has been released on bail once again after the court unexpectedly rejected the prosecution’s petition. This ruling concludes a court struggle that has captured the public’s interest and prompted discussion about the bounds of individual liberty and the potential of technological advancement.
A Montenegrin court grants Tera, founder, Do Kwon’s bail
According to a press release from the Basic Court in Podgorica, Kwon, and Terraform Labs’ chief financial officer, Han Chang-Joon, were allowed to remain in the country under house arrest pending the outcome of their appeal against an earlier bail agreement filed by the State Prosecutor’s Office.
In a hearing on May 12, bail was set at 400,000 euros ($436,000), and the court reaffirmed that amount in a hearing today. The bail conditions for Kwon and Chang-Joon now prohibit them from leaving the latter’s lawful abode in Montenegro.
The local authorities plan to monitor the two of them closely. Both the bail and supervision requirements will be null and void if either party leaves the residence.
Do Kwon, co-founder of a prominent blockchain network, was initially detained on suspicion of fraud and theft. The prosecution claimed he had misused platform funds and manipulated transactions for personal advantage.
Do Kwon had been held up as a leader and visionary in the Bitcoin industry, so these accusations caused quite a stir in the community.
In March of 2023, Montenegrin authorities apprehended Kwon and Chang-Joon for reportedly trying to escape the country using forged passports. Their authentic passports were taken from them in October of 2022 while they were in South Korea.
The judge said it would take more time to confirm the validity of the defendants’ Belgian passports and IDs but that the bond sum “is a sufficient guarantee of securing the presence of the defendants.”
The charges against Do Kwon are serious, yet his legal team was able to convince the court to release him on bond while the case proceeds. Their case was persuasive because it showed his work in the blockchain business, his ties to the local community, and his desire to help authorities with their inquiry. After hearing his reasons, the court granted him bail, much to the prosecution’s dismay.
The law still wants Kwon in some different states. The Terraform Labs co-founder is wanted by South Korean police in connection with an investigation into June 2022’s catastrophic Terra ecosystem collapse, estimated to have wiped out $40 billion in bitcoin market capitalization.
In addition to the allegations in South Korea, Kwon faces other fraud-related charges in the United States and is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice.
Prosecutors to appeal against court ruling
The prosecution quickly launched an appeal after Do Kwon’s release, hoping to have him held in detention. The prosecution and defense legal struggle heated up when additional evidence and witnesses were submitted during appeals. However, Do Kwon deny the charges against him throughout the trial, insisting that he was innocent
The court of appeals deliberated for quite some time before coming to its judgment, dismissing the prosecution’s appeal and affirming the lower court’s decision to release Do Kwon on bond. The court stressed the assumption of innocence unless proven guilty and cited the lack of evidence directly linking Do Kwon to the alleged acts.
The judge also remarked on Do Kwon’s strong ties to the community and the impact his continued work in the blockchain business could have. A discussion on the trade-offs between individual liberty and public safety has sparked by the bail decision to release Do Kwon.
His defenders say that he was released, proving the justice system and the concept of presumption of innocence are functioning correctly. They say the allegations against him are groundless and that he should be allowed to keep working pending the trial’s outcome.
However, skeptics worry about the potential for fugitives and evidence manipulation. Some have voiced concern that releasing Do Kwon will damage public faith in the justice system and slow down the probe. The court’s ruling emphasizes the value of due process and the need to avoid pre-trial punishment when there is insufficient evidence to convict.
The blockchain community and the general public are now waiting with bated breath for the trial that will establish Do Kwon’s guilt or innocence. The case has already made a lasting impression on the blockchain industry and has sparked vital conversations about responsibility, oversight, and the hazards of new technologies.
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