A prosecutor in Montenegro working on the case of Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon for alleged passport forgery has revealed that an extradition process is unlikely to begin within the detention period. Montenegrin authorities intend to issue an indictment against Kwon within a month, ruling out the possibility of him being handed over to other countries.
Extradition Requests Delayed as Passport Forgery Investigation Takes Priority
It may take some time before the extradition process of Do Kwon, the South Korean co-founder of Terraform Labs who was recently arrested in Montenegro, starts, the Yonhap news agency reported, quoting the local prosecutor working on the case.
Judicial condemnation of crimes that have taken place in Montenegro’s jurisdiction is a priority for the authorities in the small Balkan nation, Haris Šabotić stated in an interview in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica on Monday.
Šabotić is in charge of the local investigation against Kwon for alleged counterfeiting of documents. The chief executive of the company behind the failed stablecoin terrausd and cryptocurrency luna was detained on March 23 while trying to board a flight to Dubai using a fake Costa Rican passport.
Kwon Do-Hyung, as is his full name in Korean, disappeared after departing for Singapore in April, 2022, right before the collapse of the two coins ust and terra. He then fled to Serbia, where he reportedly registered a new firm, before eventually ending up in neighboring Montenegro.
The prosecutor noted that the allegations of forgery of official documents are still subject to an ongoing investigation, debunking earlier media reports that Kwon has already been indicted. After a 72-hour initial detention, a Montenegrin court extended the measure to 30 days.
The goal is to indict Kwon within that period, Haris Šabotić further noted. “We don’t know how the situation will develop after the indictment, but what is clear is that there is no possibility that the detainee will be handed over for 30 days,” he added.
South Korea, the United States, and Singapore are all seeking to secure Kwon’s extradition. While Šabotić declined to discuss the matter in detail as it’s not up to the prosecution to decide on the requests, he emphasized that the fake passport case investigation will be prioritized, noting:
We can move on to the next step only after the prosecution of this case is over. We are not interested in the issue of extradition.
If convicted of forgery of official documents, Do Kwon may receive up to five years in prison, according to Montenegro’s law. “If we bring charges within 30 days, the court will decide,” Šabotić said in the interview that took place at the District Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica. Kwon is currently held in the Spuž detention center near the Montenegrin capital.
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