US prosecutors to continue tussle for Do Kwon’s extradition: Report

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United States prosecutors will contest the latest Montenegrin high court ruling that has placed Terraform Labs’ Do Kwon headed for South Korea extradition.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) told Bloomberg that it “continues to seek Kwon’s extradition in accordance with relevant international and bilateral agreements and Montenegrin law,” per a March 7 report.

“The United States appreciates the cooperation of the Montenegrin authorities in ensuring that all individuals are subject to the rule of law.”

South Korea and the United States filed extradition requests for Kwon in March 2023 but have since been fighting over who gets the first bite of the apple.

Kwon, who served as Terraform Lab’s CEO, was set to be extradited to the United States following a Feb. 21 ruling by the High Court in Podgorica.

However, two weeks later, the Montenegro Appeals Court cited “significant violations of the provisions of criminal procedure” and decided to overturn the lower court’s ruling, putting Kwon back toward a South Korean trajectory.

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According to Montenegro’s judicial system, the U.S. may appeal to the Montenegro Supreme Court, which sits above the Montenegro Appeals Court as the highest court in the country.

Kwon faces eight charges in the U.S., including fraud and market manipulation stemming from the $40 billion collapse of the Terra ecosystem. In South Korea, he faces allegations of fraud and breaches of capital markets law in South Korea.

Kwon’s lawyers have previously indicated he would rather be extradited to South Korea to be closer to his family, where he reportedly faces a 40-year prison term.

Cointelegraph reached out to the DOJ for further comment.

Related: Do Kwon says SEC’s extradition request is impossible

South Korean prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Kwon in September 2022. He didn’t surface until March 2023, when he was arrested by Montenegrin authorities for traveling with a fake Costa Rican passport.

Kwon had a brief stint on bail but has served at least four months in prison over the passport incident, and was then moved to extradition custody after.

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