- Case of jailed ‘crypto king’ shifts into new phase amid flurry of legal decisions.
- Kwon and associate face charges in South Korea in connection with collapse of Terra.
A Montenegro court ordered that former crypto fugitive Do Kwon and his associate Han Chang-Joon remain incarcerated for six more months as judges consider an extradition request from South Korean prosecutors, as well as one for Kwon alone from US authorities.
The decision comes after a higher court in Podgorica confirmed that it will allow Kwon and Han to be released on €400,000 bail for each. The ruling was first reported by local outlet RFE and confirmed by DL News with judiciary officials.
The mixed legal actions underscore the confusing status of Kwon, who has been charged by South Korea and US prosecutors for defrauding investors in connection with the $60 billion collapse of the Terra blockchain ecosystem in May 2022.
The decision to grant the pair bail kicked off what’s called an extradition detention. Kwon and Han will stay in prison in Spuž, north of the capitol Podgorica, while a higher court decides if they will be extradited to South Korea.
“I heard news today from the media and I will not comment someone else’s actions. This news is unvaluable because nothing is changed, they stay in jail,” Goran Rodić, new laywer representing Do Kwon and Han Chang Joon in both cases told DL News.
In Montenegro, they are accused of falsifying documents, which is punishable by a prison sentence of three months to five years.
Kwon has spent almost three months in a Montenegrin prison — he and Han were arrested for suspicion of using fake passports when trying to leave Podgorica airport in an attempt to flee for Dubai on a private jet in late March.
The case upended the political arena in Montenegro just before local parliamentary elections. Kwon sent a letter to authorities about his alleged relations with Milojko Spajić, a candidate for prime minister.
Kwon was on the run from Interpol for about six months before hiding out in Serbia. Kwon and Han registered a company in Belgrade in October and purchased an apartment for €2 million in an elite district of the Serbian capital. Police seized the apartment after DL News reported the purchase.
In May, DL News reported that €7 million were moved from wallets connected to Do Kwon while he was detained.
Updated on June 15 to report the court’s consideration of US extradition.