Terra Co-founder Do Kwon Released in Montenegro Pending Extradition Decision

Terra Luna founder Do Kwon wanted for trial in the US
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Do Kwon is wanted in the United States and South Korea. He was the co-founder of collapsed stablecoin issuer Terraform Labs. On 23 March 2023, Kwon was arrested in Montenegro, attempting to travel to Dubai using falsified documents. He was released from custody on March 23, 2024. The decision came as the Montenegrin Supreme Court was deliberating whether to extradite him to South Korea, his home country, or potentially to the U.S., where he faces serious allegations.

Kwon’s release occurred on Saturday, March 23, following a halt in the extradition process to South Korea by the Supreme Court, according to a Bloomberg report. This pause came after a lower court’s ruling on the matter was suspended, marking a significant development in Kwon’s ongoing legal saga.

The background to Do Kwon‘s situation is tied to the catastrophic failure of TerraUSD and its sister cryptocurrency, Luna, in May 2022. The collapse eradicated nearly $45 billion in market capitalization in just a week and precipitated widespread turmoil in the cryptocurrency market, contributing to the onset of the 2022/23 crypto winter. As Terraform Labs‘ co-founder and CEO, Kwon has been a central figure in the ensuing fallout, facing allegations of fraud in both South Korea and the United States.

Details surrounding Kwon’s release were shared by prison director Darko Vukcevic, who noted that Kwon was discharged upon the completion of his sentence for possessing fake travel documents. Vukcevic further explained that Kwon, being a foreign national without valid documents, was subsequently taken to the police directorate for foreigners for further proceedings.

The Supreme Court reviews Kwon’s extradition amid a complex legal landscape. South Korean authorities have been seeking his extradition to face charges related to the TerraUSD collapse. However, the U.S. has also shown interest in prosecuting Kwon, where he could face more severe penalties for his role in the stablecoin’s downfall.

Legal representation for Kwon confirmed his release, and it was reported that measures were taken to prevent him from leaving Montenegro by holding onto his passport. Further developments saw Kwon being moved to a shelter for foreigners, with his lawyer, Goran Rodic, indicating plans to appeal for Kwon to remain free until a final decision on his extradition is made.

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