KOREA NEWS Montenegro court clears path for Do Kwon's extradition

Montenegro court clears path for Do Kwon’s extradition

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Police officers escort South Korean crypto mogul Do Kwon, left, in Podgorica, Montenegro, May 11. EPA-Yonhap

A Montenegro court approved the extradition of cryptocurrency entrepreneur Do Kwon on Friday, leaving the justice minister to decide whether he will be handed over to Korea or the United States, who both want him.

The Terraform founder, whose real name is Kwon Do-hyung, had been on the run for months after fleeing first Korea and then Singapore ahead of the company’s crash in May last year, before being arrested in the Adriatic country of Montenegro for using a fake passport.

Both Seoul and Washington are seeking Kwon’s extradition for his suspected role in fraud linked to his company’s dramatic collapse last year, which wiped out about $40 billion of investors’ money and shook global crypto markets.

“All legal prerequisites for extradition of K.D.H are met,” the Higher Court in Podgorica said in a statement.

However, since he is wanted by multiple countries, the court said that — according to the law — the minister of justice will have to decide which country holds a priority in this particular extradition case.

Minister of justice Andrej Milovic refused to reveal to which country Kwon would be deported, but described the extradition as “political”.

“The USA is our main foreign policy partner. We want to sign a bilateral extradition agreement as soon as possible to create a legal framework for future extraditions,” Milovic told local TV Vijesti.

Since his arrest in Montenegro, Kwon has been a source of intrigue in the country’s divisive political scene.

During the run-up to parliamentary elections in June, controversy swirled after former interim Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic and his allies accused Milojko Spajic, the current prime minister, of fostering links with Kwon. (AFP)

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