Do Kwon Mounts Last Ditch Appeal Against Extradition

Do Kwon’s defense team file an extradition appeal, likely extending his stay in Montenegro.

Do Kwon hanging onto a prison fence in Montenegro.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Do Kwon appeals the High Court’s extradition order.
  • The extradition country to receive Do Kwon has yet to be decided. 
  • The extradition appeal will likely extend his stay in Montenegro.

Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terraform Labs, was arrested in Montenegro in March while traveling under false documents. The arrest brought an end to the international hunt following his disappearance from Singapore as details of his alleged financial crimes were revealed. The Montenegrin High Court approved his extradition to face criminal charges in November. However, Do Kwon has now appealed this ruling.

Do Kwon Files Extradition Appeal

Do Kwon’s legal team has filed an appeal challenging the High Court’s extradition order. As a result, the Court of Appeal will now re-examine the extradition ruling made against him. The appeal will delay the Justice Ministry’s decision on which country to extradite Do Kwon, which was to be decided before December 12.

During the initial extradition trial, Do Kwon clarified that South Korea would be his country of choice over the US if extradited. However, US authorities staked their claim on Do Kwon as early as February, when his whereabouts were unknown, with a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint alleging that Do Kwon had masterminded a multi-billion dollar crypto fraud using an algorithmic stablecoin.

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According to local legal experts, the chances of the country’s Court of Appeal overturning the prior extradition order remain slim. They expressed doubt over the efficacy of the appeal. Nonetheless, the appeal may buy the Terraform Labs co-founder more time from facing the criminal charges laid out against him.

International Hunt

A warrant for Do Kwon’s arrest was issued in September 2022 following criminal investigations by South Korean prosecutors. In response, a Terraform Labs spokesperson stated that Do Kwon’s location remains private due to the security threat posed by allegations of financial wrongdoing.

It later emerged that Do Kwon was on the run from authorities, resulting in the international law enforcement agency Interpol issuing a “red notice” for his capture. During an interview with Laura Shin, aired in October 2022, Do Kwon refused to confirm or deny whether he was in Singapore, citing fears over his personal safety. However, rumors were circulating by that time that he was located in Serbia.

Months later, Do Kwon and his assistant, Han Chang-joon, were arrested in Montenegro after attempting to board a flight to Dubai. Montenegro shares a southwestern border with Serbia.

On the Flipside

  • An estimated $60 billion was lost in the Terra scandal that came to symbolize the crypto market turmoil of 2022
  • The collapse of Terra had ripple effects across the entire crypto ecosystem, including unraveling the Celsius scam, highlighting the interconnectedness of cryptocurrency.
  • Do Kwon claims the charges against him are not legitimate as cryptocurrencies are not classed as securities and so fall outside the remit of Korean authorities.

Why This Matters

Do Kwon’s attempt to escape extradition ring hollow when contrasted with the financial and social ruin left in Terra’s wake. While he seeks to delay and obstruct efforts to bring him to justice, the stain on cryptocurrency’s reputation cannot be undone.

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Read about Do Kwon’s unsuccessful bid to block a class action lawsuit against him here:
Singapore Court Validates Do Kwon, Terraform Labs Lawsuit

Find out how a Bitcoin dev plans to put an end to Ordinals here:
Bitcoin Civil War: Core Dev Proposes Plan to Kill Ordinals

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Samuel Wan

Samuel Wan is a finance professional turned crypto journalist, known for his insightful reporting on market trends, regulatory changes, and technological developments within the digital asset industry. His ability to simplify complex concepts and report the facts has made him a trusted source in the crypto community. Beyond his writing, Samuel is an active mountain biker and gamer.