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Elon Musk’s lawyer, Twitter battle in court over trial delay

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A trial over Elon Musk’s bid to finish his $44 billion deal for Twitter needs to be delayed by several weeks to permit the billionaire to analyze a whistleblower’s claims about security on the social media platform, Musk’s lawyer told a judge on Tuesday.

“Doesn’t justice demand just a few weeks to look into this?” said Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, at a hearing in Wilmington, Del.

Last month, whistleblower allegations became public that provided Musk, the world’s richest person, fresh ammunition to bolster what legal experts said was a long-shot try and walk away from the deal without paying a $1 billion termination fee.

Twitter’s former head of security, Peiter Zatko, a famed hacker referred to as “Mudge,” said in a criticism to regulators that the corporate falsely represented that it had a solid data security plan. 

Twitter has dismissed Zatko’s allegations as a “false narrative” and its lawyer accused the billionaire on Tuesday of seizing on the whistleblower allegations to cover up the proven fact that he supposedly rushed in to purchasing the corporate without assessing the risks.

Peiter Zatko, who can be referred to as “Mudge,” poses for a portraitThe Washington Post via Getty Im

“Mr. Musk is blaming Twitter for his failing to do customary due diligence,” said William Savitt, an attorney for Twitter. He urged the judge to forestall Musk from adding whistleblower claims to his lawsuit but said if allowed, the five-day trial should begin on Oct. 17 as scheduled.

Savitt read an early May message from Musk to a banker that turned up within the litigation by which the billionaire wrote “it won’t make sense to purchase Twitter if we’re heading into World War III.” Savitt said it was evidence that Musk is in search of any way out of the deal and his initial claims about bots and faux accounts were merely a pretext to finish the deal.

Twitter and Musk have sued one another. The corporate wants Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware’s Court of Chancery to order Musk to purchase the corporate for the $54.20 per share he agreed to in April.

Shares of Twitter ended Tuesday trading at $38.65 per share, up barely.

McCormick ended Tuesday’s hearing without saying when she would rule.

Musk, who can be chief executive of electrical vehicle maker Tesla, initially countersued Twitter for misleading him in regards to the amount of pretend or bot accounts on the platform, which he said allowed him to walk away from the deal.

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