Do Kwon Requests U.S. Trial Postponement
Do Kwon seeks to delay his U.S. trial, citing extradition issues in Montenegro.
Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, currently in extradition custody in Montenegro, made a request in his ongoing legal saga regarding his U.S. trial. His attorneys have submitted a formal request to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking a postponement of his upcoming trial date, initially set for January 29. This move comes as Kwon faces legal hurdles regarding his extradition, impacting his ability to appear in a U.S. court.
The request for delay, made in a letter to Judge Jed Rakoff, highlights Kwon’s intention to be present at his trial. Kwon’s legal team had previously hoped for a swift extradition process from Montenegro, allowing him to return to the U.S. in time for the trial. They now seek an adjournment until mid-March, offering a more realistic timeframe for Kwon’s attendance.
The SEC Case Against Do Kwon
In February 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought fraud charges against Kwon. The charges are in connection with a large-scale cryptocurrency securities fraud, allegedly involving Kwon. This case revolves around the dramatic collapse of Terraform Labs’ stablecoin, TerraUSD (USTC), and its related Terra (LUNA) token, leading to significant financial repercussions in the crypto market.
Kwon’s legal representation acknowledges the importance and urgency of the trial. However, they argue that the current trial date does not provide a feasible opportunity for Kwon to attend. Their request aims to balance the need for a timely trial with Kwon’s right to be present for his defense.
In an unexpected turn in December 2023, the Appellate Court of Montenegro overruled the High Court of Podgorica’s decision, which had initially approved Kwon’s extradition to either the U.S. or South Korea. This development added a new layer of complexity to Kwon’s extradition case, with both the U.S. and South Korea actively seeking his return.
This legal turmoil follows Kwon’s arrest in Montenegro in March 2023. Authorities detained him after he attempted to leave the country using falsified travel documents. The arrest added fuel to the international pursuit of Kwon, with authorities in both the U.S. and South Korea intensifying their efforts to secure his extradition.