Elon Musk’s lawyer has told a judge that the Tesla chief’s Twitter trial should be delayed due to concerns over claims made by a whistleblower on security issues with the social media platform.
In July, a judge had announced that the trial between the world’s richest man and the social media company would take place in the Delaware Court of Chancery for five days between 17 and 21 October.
But Mr Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro said on Tuesday that the trial should be delayed by several weeks to allow the Tesla chief to investigate the whistleblower’s claims on Twitter’s security issues.
“Doesn’t justice demand a few weeks to look into this?” Mr Spiro reportedly said at a hearing in Wilmington, Delaware.
In August, Twitter’s former security head Peiter “Mudge” Zatko became a whistleblower and submitted a string of allegations to US regulatory agencies about repeated security violations by his former employer.
He said the social media company was not honest about its privacy issues and data security, adding that the microblogging platform has been subject to major breaches by foreign governments.
Mr Zatko also claimed Twitter has not been honest about the number of fake accounts on the platform, which was in line with the Tesla titan’s consistent allegations that the social media company undercounts its spam “bot” accounts.
Mr Musk has repeatedly cited Twitter’s bot “problem” as the reason for not going through with the deal to buy the company.
“If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not,” the multibillionaire had tweeted last month.
“I hereby challenge [Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal] to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage. Let him prove to the public that Twitter has
Twitter had dismissed Mr Zatko’s allegations, calling them a “false narrative.”
The company’s lawyers reportedly accused the Tesla chief on Tuesday of using the whistleblower’s claims to cover up the fact that he supposedly hurried to buy the social media platform without adequate risk assessment.
“Mr Musk is blaming Twitter for his failing to do customary due diligence,” William Savitt, an attorney for Twitter, said, according to Reuters.
Mr Savitt urged the judge to prevent the Tesla chief from adding whistleblower claims to his lawsuit and, if allowed, to begin the trial as scheduled on 17 October.