Do Kwon wins appeal against extradition to US to face fraud charges

Do Kwon wins appeal against extradition to US to face fraud charges
The extradition of Do Kwon has been overruled.
  • Terra co-founder will get a new trial after appellate court finds 'violations' in legal process.
  • US want to try Kwon in connection with 2022 failure of Terra network.
  • South Korea is also pressing charges against Kwon.

In a rare win for Do Kwon, the jailed co-founder of the Terra blockchain network, a Montenegro court overruled a lower court decision to extradite him to the US, according to a statement issued Tuesday.

The Court of Appeals in the Balkan nation cited “significant violations of the provisions of criminal procedure” in the legal action leading up to the extradition decision in February.

Last month, Kwon appealed the ruling to send Kwon to the US to face charges of fraud in connection with the $60 billion failure of Terra in May 2022.

Judicial confirmation

Goran Rodic, Kwon’s lawyer, told DL News that the appellate ruling provides “judicial confirmation that the decision was illegal, just like the previous ones.”

“Unfortunately, despite the fact that the legal provisions are clear and precise, and that the evidence in the files is also clear and credible, we are in a situation where the court will decide for the fourth time in a specific matter,” Rodic and his colleague Marija Radulovic told DL News in a statement.

“I hope that in the end it will be done in accordance with the law and international agreements, and the appellate court insists on the application of the law.”

The case is now heading back to the lower courts for a second retrial, according to the appellate statement.

Earlier in February, the Court of Appeals overruled a previous ruling that would have left it to the country’s minister of justice to decide if Kwon should be extradited to the US or South Korea — sending the case back for a retrial.

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South Korean prosecutors have also charged Kwon and an associate with fraud in connection with Terraform Labs, which controlled the Terra blockchain ecosystem.

The US first requested Kwon’s extradition in March 2023, shortly after he and Han Chang-joon were arrested on the tarmac of Podgorica Airport in Montenegro, where they were attempting to fly to Dubai on a private jet.

Convicted last year for using a false Costa Rican passport, Kwon has been jailed in Montenegro ever since.

Marija Rakovic, the High Court’s spokeswoman, told DL News that the case has been returned for retrial and that there is no limitation of how many times retrial can repeat.

There is also no legal timeframe in which the High Court should come up with a new decision.

Updated on March 5 at 12.57 pm to include Goran Rodic and Marija Radulovic statement.

Eric Johansson is DL News’ news editor. Ana Ćurić is a data journalist at DL News. Got a tip? Email them on or

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