Podgorica, Montenegro – Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon and former chief financial officer Han Chong-joon will remain in custody in Montenegro as prosecutors successfully appealed the decision to grant them bail, according to a report by Cointelegraph on May 24. Kwon and Chong-joon were apprehended in March after attempting to leave the country using falsified documents.
Initially, the Basic Court in Podgorica had granted the fugitive crypto executives release to house arrest with a bail amount of 400,000 euros ($435,000) each on May 12. These bail terms were proposed by the defense team. However, prosecutors contested the ruling and appealed to the High Court in the following week.
As a result of the appeal, the Basic Court will now reconsider the decision regarding Kwon and Chong-joon’s bail. It is worth noting that there is no specific limit on the number of times the Basic Court’s decisions can be appealed.
While awaiting further legal proceedings, authorities from both South Korea and the United States have initiated efforts to extradite Do Kwon. Additionally, he is facing charges in Singapore. U.S. prosecutors have filed eight charges against Kwon, which include commodities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud, and engaging in market manipulation. Prior to his arrest, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had also filed a lawsuit against Kwon, and a class-action suit has been initiated in California.
According to reports, Kwon could face up to 40 years’ imprisonment for the charges against him in South Korea, and up to five years in prison for the charges in Montenegro, where his trial is scheduled to begin on June 16. It is important to note that Montenegro has an extradition treaty with the United States but not with South Korea or Singapore.
The case surrounding Kwon took a dramatic turn after the collapse of the Terra ecosystem in May 2022, leading to his disappearance. However, despite an Interpol Red Notice being issued for him, Kwon maintained a social media presence and denied being in hiding. Eventually, it was discovered that Kwon and Chong-joon were residing in Serbia. Following the Red Notice, Kwon reportedly established a consulting company in Serbia.
The developments surrounding the legal proceedings of Do Kwon and Han Chong-joon continue to captivate the cryptocurrency community and regulatory bodies worldwide. As the case unfolds, stakeholders eagerly anticipate the outcomes of the upcoming trial in Montenegro and the potential extradition proceedings initiated by South Korea and the United States.