Do Kwon, founder of Terraform Labs, has won his appeal against extradition to the United States from Montenegro,
Kwon was arrested in Montenegro in March 2023 following the crash of Terra (LUNA), his company’s cryptocurrency.
According to a statement from the Montenegrin High Court, Do Kwon will not be extradited to the U.S. This order directly revokes another order issued by a lower court in November 2023.
Kwon is wanted in both South Korea and the U.S. for fraud and money laundering charges related to losing $40 billion of investors’ money. He had argued that his extradition to the U.S. would violate his human rights and expose him to the risk of torture and unfair trial.
The court said that it found Kwon’s claims credible and that the U.S. had failed to provide sufficient guarantees of his safety and due process. According to the court statement, Kwon had agreed to be extradited to South Korea, where he is facing similar charges.
The court also noted that South Korea had a higher priority claim over him than the U.S.
Court Decision Can’t Be Contested
While the court’s decision is final and cannot be appealed, Kwon will not be immediately extradited to South Korea. He still has to serve a four-month prison sentence in Montenegro for document forgery, which he was convicted of in June 2023.
Kwon and his associate, Han Chang-joon, the former CFO of Terraform Labs, were arrested at Montenegro’s Podgorica Airport on March 24, 2023, while fleeing to Dubai using fake Costa Rican passports.
Han is already in South Korea, where he was extradited to on February 5, 2024, after losing his appeal.
Kwon’s extradition to the U.S. had been approved by a lower court in Podgorica in November 2023, following requests from both South Korea and the U.S.
Kwon would have faced fraud charges under the RICO Act in the U.S. if their extradition order had been approved. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Kwon’s lawyer, Zoran Piperovic, welcomed the court’s decision and said that it was a victory for justice and human rights. He said that Kwon was ready to face the charges in South Korea and prove his innocence.