Judge rejects request to stay Elon Musk’s Twitter trial following whistleblower disclosure

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CNN business

A Delaware judge on Wednesday denied Elon Musk’s request to postpone the trial with Twitter. $44 billion acquisition deal After Former CEO Alleged Your company has serious security vulnerabilities.

However, Musk’s team will be allowed to add allegations to the case, alleging that Tesla’s CEO should be allowed to walk out of the deal, based on former executive whistleblower disclosures.

of trial Musk’s lawyers last week asked a judge for permission to postpone the trial for about a month and update the counterclaim in light of disclosures from the former Twitter user.

Security Officer Peter Zatko.

Zatko Twitter claimed misled Musk and the public about the prevalence of bots and spam accounts on the platform.Mask’s team also last week submitted an additional termination a letter claiming Zatko’s claims — including Twitter committing serious security breaches and violating a 2011 FTC consent order — providing additional justification for Musk to terminate the deal.

Twitter has criticized Zatko, defending it broadly against allegations that its disclosures portray a “false narrative” of the company and are “full of contradictions and inaccuracies.” is now looking for an excuse to get out of a deal it considers overvalued.

Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathleen McCormick said in Wednesday’s ruling that “even a four-week delay.” [of the trial] It’s too big to be justified and risks further damage to Twitter. ”

The decision followed a hearing on Tuesday, where Twitter and Musk’s lawyers were bitterly opposed over changing the trial date. Twitter denied Zatko’s allegations, objected to the delay, and argued that even if the whistleblower’s disclosure claims were true, they would not constitute a “significant adverse effect” that would allow Musk to walk away. lawyers portrayed Zatko, who was fired from Twitter in January, as a disgruntled ex-employee who was disclosed at a convenient time for Musk.

“Mr. Musk says he has a case, but what he really has is a disgruntled ally,” said Twitter attorney William Savitt. He has repeatedly denied any relationship and said his disclosures were unrelated to the takeover dispute.)

Savitt said Musk’s motion to stay the trial and renew his complaint is part of an ongoing strategy by the billionaire’s team to prolong the lawsuit and cause continued damage to the company. At the preliminary hearing, Savitt said the continued uncertainty hanging over the company from unresolved deals and lawsuits “is hurting Twitter every day, every hour, every day.” I am,” he claimed. (McCormick previously sided with Twitter in a ruling that the trial should be expedited.)

“They’re trying to crush us all,” Savitt said Tuesday. He later added: … will do whatever it takes to make it happen. ”

Musk’s lawyers said they were unaware of Zatko’s concerns until they were publicly reported last month, and that the former executive made fraud allegations in January before Musk bid for the company, or that Zatko was Filed a whistleblower disclosure.

“We still don’t know when they found out,” Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro said at the hearing. “We still don’t know why they didn’t tell us. .”

McCormick said in a ruling Wednesday that granted Musk’s team an additional counterclaim based on the whistleblower’s allegations, “with the targeted discovery of documents and a minimum of additional expertise and We only allow incremental discoveries related to new allegations made by fact witnesses.” The two sides clashed over the scope and quantity of the found material.

Spiro told CNN Business Wednesday that Musk’s team “hopefully wins the rectification motion to bring us one step closer to the truth that will come out in court.” “We look forward to filing a lawsuit in court beginning October 17, and intend to complete the transaction on the price and terms agreed with Mr. Musk,” Twitter said in a statement.

Musk’s attorneys plan to fire Zatko on Friday.Zatko is also expected to testify before the Senate hearing The same day Twitter shareholders make an announcement regarding his allegations next week. set to vote Regarding whether to approve the acquisition transaction.

Source: www.cnn.com

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