The decision of the High Court to extradite Do Kwon to South Korea or the USA has been revoked

Cryptocurrency king - Do Kwon and his business partner were arrested on March 23 at the Podgorica airport when they used forged Costa Rican passports during passport control on a flight to Dubai.

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One of the arrests of Do Kwon, Photo: Boris Pejović
One of the arrests of Do Kwon, Photo: Boris Pejović
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The Appellate Court of Montenegro, after the session of the panel on December 14.12.2023, 17.11.2023, issued a decision in which it accepted the appeal of the defense attorneys of South Korean citizen Do Kwon, and annulled the decision of the Higher Court in Podgorica dated November XNUMX, XNUMX, and returned the case to the first instance court for retrial and decision, it is stated in the press release of that court.

"The first-instance decision of the High Court in Podgorica established that the legal prerequisites for the extradition of the citizen of the Republic of South Korea, the defendant Kwon Do Hjeong, for the purpose of criminal prosecution for several criminal offenses at the request of the Republic of South Korea and the request of the United States of America (USA). Deciding on the appeal of the defenders of the defendant, the panel of the Appellate Court assessed that the decision was affected by a significant violation of the provisions of the criminal procedure from Article 386 paragraph 1 point 9 of the CPC, which violation is rightly pointed out by the appeal of the defendant's defense attorneys, because the decision has no reasons for decisive facts, and the reasons given are unclear, which is the reason for its cancellation.

The High Court in Podgorica received two requests for the extradition of the defendant Do Kwon, from the Republic of South Korea and from the USA. Extradition is being sought by both countries for multiple criminal prosecutions. The investigating judge heard the defendant on the request of the Republic of South Korea, who agreed to be extradited by summary procedure in relation to this request, while he did not hear the defendant in relation to the request for extradition to the USA, which was delivered to that court before his hearing . In this way, the High Court acted contrary to Article 16 paragraph 8 of the Law on International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, which stipulates that the investigating judge will inform the person whose extradition is requested, upon establishing his identity, without delay, for what reason and on the basis of which evidence it is requested his extradition and invite him to present his defense.

At the council session that was held the previous day, on November 13.11.2023, 22.11.2023, the Court of Appeal issued a decision by which it annulled the decision of the Higher Court in Podgorica dated November 19.06.2023, 412, which postponed Do Kvon's extradition until the completion of his prison sentence for four months, which was imposed on him by the final judgment of the Basic Court in Podgorica dated June 2, 1. year due to the commission of a criminal offense - falsification of a document from Article 386 paragraph 1 in connection with paragraph 8 of the Criminal Code of Montenegro. The decision was revoked due to significant violations of the provisions of criminal procedure from Article 9 para. 22 points XNUMX and XNUMX of the CPC, because the decision on whether extradition will be postponed does not fall under the jurisdiction of the court, which only determines whether the legal prerequisites for extradition are met, but is the exclusive competence of the Minister of Justice, as prescribed Article XNUMX of the Law on International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters," the Appellate Court said in a statement.

Earlier, the High Court in Podgorica made a decision in the extradition proceedings against the accused citizen of South Korea, Do Kwon, by which it was determined that the legal requirements for extradition were met, at the request of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Korea dated March 29, 03 and supplementing the request no. KSM/2023/23 dated September 141, 06, to that country, and for the purpose of extradition for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings for the criminal offense of violations of the Law on Financial Investment Services and the Capital Market (fraudulent and unfair trading) from Art. 09 st. 2023 (443), Art. 2 paragraph 1 (443) and (1), Art. 8 paragraph 9 and paragraph 178 of the Law on Financial Investment Services and the Capital Market, the criminal offense of violation of the Law on Severe Punishment of Certain Economic Crimes (Fraud) which falls under Art. 1 st. 2 of the Law on Severe Punishment of Certain Economic Crimes in the Republic of Korea and Article 3 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Korea, and the criminal offense of violation of the Law on Capital Markets and Financial Investments from Art. 317 paragraph 1, article 444, article 1 paragraph 11 and art. 444 of the Law on Capital Market and Financial Investments of the Republic of Korea (violation of public offering).

The same decision establishes that the legal prerequisites for the extradition of the same defendant have been met, at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America No. 7/2-034/23-977-4 dated 03.04.2023/052/23 and a copy of the note of the Embassy of the United States of America No. 03.04.2023-23 of 151/23.03.2023/18. year, to that state, and for the purpose of extradition for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings based on the Indictment of the District Court of the United States of the Southern District of New York no. 371 Crimea 7 of March 9, 1, due to the criminal offense of conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with (a) the contract for the sale of goods, (b) the purchase and sale of securities and (v) the transfer of interstate remittances, in violation of Chapter 13 of the Law US Section 5, the crime of fraud on a contract for the sale of goods and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 17, US Code, Sections 180.1 (18) and 2 (a)(15), Title 78 Code of Federal Regulations, Sec. 78, and Title 17 of the US Code, Section 240.10, of the crime of securities fraud, and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 5 of the US Code, Sections 18(b) * and * 2ff of Title 18 of the Code of Federal Regulations section 1343b-2 and Title 1 USC, Section 18, of the crime of wire fraud and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 371 of the USC, Sections XNUMX and XNUMX and XNUMX, and the crime of Conspiracy to commit fraud in relation to ( a) by contracting for the sale of goods, (b) by buying and selling securities, (v) by manipulating the prices of securities, and (g) by transmitting interstate remittances, in violation of Title XNUMX of the US Code, Section XNUMX.

In the explanation of the aforementioned decision, it was pointed out that the fact that the defendant Do Kwon gave his consent to be extradited to the competent authorities of the Republic of South Korea under a shortened procedure, however, the Higher Court in Podgorica found that it should still be decided as in the wording of the respective decision, because in the specific case it was about extradition to which several states applied, and that primacy is still regulated by the provisions of art. 22 of the Law on International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, when the Minister will decide which country has priority in case of possible extradition, from which it follows that the Minister of Justice of Montenegro will make the final decision on the matter.

"If the Minister of Justice allows the final extradition of the previously named defendant, the extradition will take place after the execution of the criminal sanction pronounced before the Basic Court in Podgorica in the case against him for the criminal offense of falsifying a document from Article 412 paragraph 2 in relation to paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Code of Montenegro, and in which case he was legally sentenced to imprisonment for 4 (four) months", according to the announcement of the High Court in Podgorica.

Cryptocurrency king - Do Kwon and his business partner were arrested on March 23 at the Podgorica airport when they used forged Costa Rican passports during passport control on a flight to Dubai.

The border policeman who was checking the documents saw the application "Find" with a warning - "arrest".

The two initially denied that the documents were fake, and then, in their closing arguments, explained in the courtroom that they had obtained the fake Costa Rican and Belgian passports through an agency in Singapore.

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