Terra Founder Do Kwon Seeks Court Approval for Delay in SEC Trial to Ensure Personal Appearance

The legal defence for Do Hyeung Kwon, founder of failed crypto project Terra, has requested the US court postpone his Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) trial to allow for his physical presence, citing delays in the extradition process from Montenegro. If denied, Kwon’s team will ask the jury to consider his inability to testify was out of his control. The trial date remains contentious as authorities pursue accountability for the $40 billion collapse of Kwon’s stablecoin TerraUSD and its sister token Luna last May.

Delay Sought in Extradition Proceedings

Extradition Proceedings

In a letter to the court dated January 13th, Kwon’s attorneys stated that it does not appear likely he will be extradited from Montenegro until late February or March based on the ongoing legal proceedings. They point out that an adjournment of the SEC trial, currently set for January 29th, until mid-March would provide a realistic chance for Kwon to attend in person and appropriately participate in his defence. Last December, an appeals court in Montenegro cancelled approval of Kwon’s extradition to both South Korea and the United States to face criminal charges related to Terra’s implosion, tossing the case back to lower courts for review. The delays have complicated efforts to conduct the civil trial against Kwon and Terraform Labs as scheduled.

Requesting Consideration of Absence

If the postponement is denied, Kwon’s legal team says they intend to ask the jury for an instruction acknowledging his inability to be present and testify was beyond his control. They want to ensure his absence is not “unduly prejudicial” against their client. Last February, the SEC accused Kwon and Terraform of orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency fraud through misleading claims about Terra USD’s stability and backing. South Korean prosecutors have also filed criminal charges against Kwon and others associated with Terra for the market collapse and losses suffered by individual investors. Both authorities seek to hold those behind the high-profile project accountable under the law.

The SEC trial date of January 29th could prove logistically difficult if Kwon remains detained abroad awaiting extradition. But postponing may not satisfy the aim of resolving matters on time for alleged victims of what prosecutors depict as a sophisticated deception that shook confidence in stable coins last year.

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