In this illustration taken on June 16, 2022, a photo of Elon Musk is shown on a smartphone placed on the display of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
NEW YORK: Elon Musk may include new evidence from Twitter whistleblower fighting to get out of $44 billion deal to buy social media company, but Musk faces high-stakes trial in October cannot be delayed. Controversy, the judge ruled Wednesday.
Prime Minister Kathleen St. Jude McCormick, the presiding judge of the Delaware Grand Court, rejected Musk’s request to delay the trial by four weeks. But she allowed the billionaire Tesla CEO to add evidence related to whistleblower allegations made by her former security chief at Twitter, Peiter Zatko.
Twitter sued Musk, asking a Delaware court to enforce a deal to buy the company in April. Musk countersued, and the trial is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 17.
Musk’s legal team said Zatko’s allegations against U.S. authorities help support Musk’s allegations that Twitter misled him and the public about the company’s problems with fake “spam” accounts. argue that it is possible. Handle “Madge” said he was fired in January after he was flagged by Twitter for being negligent in protecting the security and privacy of its users.
The judge’s ruling followed Tuesday’s hours-long hearing in which lawyers for Musk and Twitter debated with each other the merits of Zatko’s claims and the pace at which both sides would present evidence ahead of trial.
A lawyer for Twitter argued that Zatko’s first 27-page complaint to Twitter, and the subsequent shell of retaliation, did not mention the “spambot” issue Musk cited as a reason. attempted to downplay the relevance of Mr. Zatko’s claims to the merger controversy. According to William Savitt, a Twitter attorney, Zatko “didn’t say a word about spam or bots” until his whistleblower came forward in July.
For weeks, Twitter said Musk’s reasons for pulling out after agreeing to pay a 38% increase in Musk’s stock and electric-car maker Tesla’s stake just before the stock market stumbled were buyer reflections. has claimed to be nothing more than a cover for Wealth existed and was worth over $100 billion.
Judge McCormick said on Wednesday that the newly released whistleblower complaint gave Musk’s team grounds to amend the counterclaim, but she declined to give details.
“I will refrain from saying further on the merits of counterclaims in this position before the full lawsuit is filed,” she wrote. “The world will have to wait for a post-trial decision.”
But McCormick backed Twitter’s concerns that delaying the trial would make it harder for the company to reopen.
“I believe even a four-week delay risks unjustifiably more damage to Twitter,” she wrote.
In afternoon trading, Twitter’s stock rose 5.5% to $40.77.