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Do Kwon unlikely to be extradited before SEC trial begins

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Do Kwon’s lawyers told a US court on February 26 that the Terraform Labs co-founder would not be able to attend the first hearings of the SEC trial.

The lawyers did not request an adjournment and said the trial could begin as scheduled on March 25 without Kwon present, according to court filings.

Unforeseen complications

Kwon’s lawyer, David Patton, said Kwon, currently in Montenegro, could not be extradited by the end of March due to unforeseen complications in the legal process. He added that these measures derailed previous expectations of a speedy extradition.

Patton said the delay was mainly due to “unforeseen errors” made by the Montenegrin court handling Kwon’s extradition case.

The filing includes a statement from Kwon’s Montenegrin lawyer, Goran Rodic, that highlights several issues with the High Court’s extradition decision.

Rodic criticized the Feb. 21 decision, saying it was based on incorrect information regarding the timing of extradition requests from the United States and South Korea. He also raised concerns about several procedural errors that occurred during the legal process.

The legal saga continues

Kwon was arrested by Montenegro in March 2023 for using falsified travel documents and has remained there since. The arrest came amid ongoing investigations following the collapse of Terra in May 2022, when Kwon’s whereabouts were unknown.

Montenegro convicted him of possessing false documents and sentenced him to four months in prison. His extradition case continues in parallel.

The legal battle over his extradition involves both South Korea and the United States. Both countries filed extradition requests with Montenegro following Kwon’s arrest.

The SEC’s lawsuit against Kwon and Terraform, filed in February 2023, and subsequent criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office have placed Kwon at the center of allegations involving billions of dollars in crypto asset securities fraud.

In December 2023, Judge Jed Rakoff entered summary judgment in favor of the SEC, with trial scheduled for late March 25.

Meanwhile, South Korea wants him extradited to face trial in his home country. Some of his former associates, including Terra co-founder Daniel Shin, have already been tried for fraud.

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