Do Kwon’s Legal Conundrum: Released But Confined, Extradition Awaits Supreme Court Verdict

March 24, 2024

South Korean crypto executive Do Kwon, the embattled CEO of the blockchain firm Terraform Labs (TFL), is entangled in a legal quandary. Despite his release from a Montenegrin prison early Saturday, his liberty hangs in the balance as he remains confined, having been relocated to a shelter for foreigners, while awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on his extradition.

Kwon can momentarily breathe easier after being released from a Montenegrin prison this Saturday. The Terraform Labs (TFL) CEO had been serving a four-month sentence for possessing fake travel documents. Yet, this relief is partial at best, as his freedom is significantly restricted, with him now being held in a government-operated facility within the Balkan nation.

Montenegrin prison director Darko Vukcevic Darko Vukcevic clarified the circumstances leading to the release of the South Korean cryptocurrency entrepreneur, Kwon. He stated that Kwon had completed the prescribed sentence for offenses related to travel, specifically the use of fraudulent travel documents, warranting his release from incarceration.

Vukcevic, however, highlighted that due to the entrepreneur’s citizenship, his travel documents were held. Following his release, he mentioned that Kwon “was taken for an interview to police directorate for foreigners, and they will deal with him further.”

State TV attributed the retention of Kwon’s travel documents to a governmental strategy aimed at ensuring he remains within the country’s boundaries. Goran Rodic, serving as Kwon’s legal counsel in the Balkan nation, affirmed his client’s provisional liberation and his ensuing transfer to a facility specifically arranged for foreign nationals.

The defense attorney also expressed his plans to challenge Kwon’s right to stay free while awaiting the Supreme Court’s verdict on his extradition case.

This recent decision to release Kwon from a Montenegrin prison came at the heels of the announcement made by the country’s Supreme Court on Friday, dramatically altering the course of the TFL CEO’s high-profile extradition saga. The court issued a critical ruling decisively overturning the previous decisions of two inferior courts.

The Supreme Court of Montenegro provided a detailed justification for its decision to suspend the extradition of the high-profile crypto mogul to South Korea, anchoring its ruling in the nation’s legal statutes. This critical pause is under Article 440, paragraph 4, of the Montenegrin Code of Criminal Procedure. 

This specific legal provision empowers the Supreme Court to delay or entirely halt the enforcement of final court rulings, contingent on an exhaustive examination of the request to protect legality.

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