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Do Kwon Awaits Extradition

Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, is currently entangled in a complex legal battle involving extradition requests from both the United States and South Korea, following the catastrophic collapse of Terraform Labs’ digital currencies, TerraUSD and Luna, in May 2022. This collapse erased approximately $40 billion from the market and had devastating impacts on investors worldwide​.

Kwon was arrested in Montenegro in March 2023 using falsified travel documents as he attempted to leave the country. Following his arrest, both the U.S. and South Korea have sought his extradition to face multiple charges, including fraud. If extradited to South Korea, Kwon reportedly faces a potential 40-year jail sentence​.

The extradition process has seen significant developments. Initially, Montenegro’s High Court in Podgorica approved Kwon’s extradition to either South Korea or the United States, with the final decision on the country of extradition to be made by the Montenegrin Justice Minister. However, before any extradition could take place, Kwon was required to serve a four-month prison sentence in Montenegro for document forgery​​.

In a turn of events, the Montenegro Court of Appeal overturned a previous ruling for Kwon’s extradition to the U.S., sending the case back for a retrial. This appellate decision cited significant violations in the extradition process, including incomprehensible decision wording and unclear reasons for decisive facts. The court also noted that the High Court failed to properly link a document with its attachments and evaluate it in accordance with the provisions of the Law on International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters​​.

Despite these legal victories for Kwon, his legal troubles are far from over. He faces ongoing investigations and multiple counts of fraud levied by U.S. federal prosecutors, in addition to civil charges in the U.S. and an investigation in South Korea related to TerraUSD’s collapse​​.

Kwon’s situation exemplifies the intricate and protracted nature of international legal battles in the cryptocurrency world, highlighting the challenges of navigating the legal landscapes of multiple countries. As the case unfolds, the crypto community watches closely, given the significant implications for regulatory and legal standards in the blockchain industry.

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