Terra founder Do Kwon released in Montenegro

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South Korean crypto fugitive Do Kwon has been released from prison in Montenegro as the Supreme Court deliberates on extradition requests from the United States and South Korea. 

According to a Bloomberg report, he was released on Saturday, March 23. The Supreme Court halted the extradition of the Terraform Labs co-founder to South Korea, suspending a lower court’s ruling.

The Terra founder Kwon is currently facing fraud allegations in both South Korea and the U.S. stemming from the Terra Luna collapse, which resulted in the loss of approximately $60 billion in market value in 2022. The prison director Darko Vukcevic reportedly said by phone:

“We released Do Kwon from prison as his regular prison term for traveling with fake papers ended. Since he is a foreign citizen and his documents were withheld, he was taken for an interview to the police directorate for foreigners, and they will deal with him further.”

The decision to release Kwon reportedly came from the Council of the Supreme Court, which is set to review a decision that could grant or deny extradition to his native South Korea. In South Korea, penalties are comparatively milder than in the U.S., where prosecutors seek to prosecute Kwon for the TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin’s $40 billion collapse in 2022.

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Kwon’s lawyer Goran Rodic also confirmed his release. According to state TV, Kwon’s passport has been held back to prevent him from leaving the country. Later on Saturday, Kwon was relocated to a shelter for foreigners, as reported by state TV, citing Rodic, who indicated plans to appeal to a court for Kwon to remain free until an extradition ruling.

The Supreme Court’s action followed a challenge by the chief prosecutor in the Balkan nation, who cited procedural errors in the rulings favoring South Korea’s request. Extradition to either country awaits further court deliberations, with no specified timeline provided after the announcement on Friday.

Source: Whynotpump

If extradited to the United States, the Terraform Labs co-founder would likely face eight felony charges filed by prosecutors in March 2023. Kwon was arrested in Montenegro in March 2023 for using falsified travel documents with his colleague, Terraform Labs’ former chief financial officer Han Chang-joon.

Authorities from the U.S. and South Korea filed competing extradition requests to have Kwon face fraud charges in their respective countries, but no final decision has been made.

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