Trial against Tesla boss begins in California >

Elon Musk is now the owner of Twitter himself, but in August 2018 he used the service as a regular member (albeit already with millions of followers) for a momentous message: He’s thinking about Musk surprisingly announced that he would buy Tesla from the stock market, and sent a definitive “funding secured” afterwards. As is well known, nothing came of the transaction, and the SEC accused the Tesla boss of fraud, which was later more or less settled with an agreement. But shareholders also sued Musk, and the trial will begin next week – against the will of the defendant as planned in his former home in California.

Judge seeks neutral jury for Tesla boss

That decided according to one Report of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Friday a federal judge after a hearing in San Francisco. Earlier, the Tesla CEO’s attorneys requested that the trial be held in the state of Texas instead, with an interesting reason: Potential jury members in the California city were exposed to so much negative reporting about Musk that they couldn’t make an unbiased decision .

Musk has certainly not made himself more popular in the more liberal California with derogatory statements about the state in which both he and Tesla used to be based, as well as with his partisanship with the Republicans. From last October, the consequences of the Twitter takeover added to this: Thousands of employees in San Francisco were laid off, and at the same time Musk seemed to lose sight of Tesla’s new CEO job, which – together with further sales by him – was to the devastating price development of Tesla shares in the past year may have contributed.

However, according to the WSJ report, the judge in San Francisco saw no reason to move the trial to Texas. Previously, he had questionnaires sent to 190 potential jury members to find out their opinion of Musk. Of these, 49 showed a mixed attitude, 27 a more positive one, 76 a negative one, and the rest appeared neutral. The judge explained that the 15 impartial persons required for the jury were therefore not difficult to find.

Musk trial without head of Saudi fund

The process intended by Tesla shareholders is scheduled to begin next Tuesday with a survey of potential jury members. The plaintiffs accuse their CEO of using his Twitter message about the Tesla withdrawal from the stock market price distortions and thus to have caused losses in the billions, and are demanding damages. His lawyers insisted in advance that Musk’s account was correct.

In particular, the question is whether he could really describe the financing as “secured”. The Tesla boss was unable to present any written agreements on this, but repeatedly stated that he had received verbal commitments from the head of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Musk actually wanted him to testify in the process for exoneration, but he did as Bloomberg reports, his attorneys declined the subpoena, saying he was under no legal obligation to appear. The Tesla boss cannot hope for this support in the process – but in the judge’s opinion at least for a fair jury in Musk’s former homeland, which he now finds hostile.

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