Twitter paid $7 million (roughly Rs. 56 crore) to a whistleblower to keep quiet about operational problems with the microblogging service. Elon Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro made the claims during Tuesday’s hearing ahead of an upcoming court battle between Twitter and Musk over the failure to complete the $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,50,300 crore) takeover deal. Reports suggest that the whistleblower is Peter Zatko, Twitter’s former head of security. Zatko is understood to have been paid by the company for damages after he left the company.
According to Bloomberg ReportWhile Zatko’s agreement with Twitter does not allow him to speak publicly on these issues, he would be free to act as a government whistleblower.
Musk is allowed to use Zatko’s claims in a five-day trial against Twitter in October. Musk believes that Twitter misrepresented the number of fake accounts on its platform that prompted him not to do the takeover.
According to the report, Twitter’s lawyers raised concerns about Zatko’s credibility. Company lawyers have argued that he may have been motivated by a grudge against the company that fired him.
On the other hand, Spiro pointed out that instead of quietly taking the money, Zatko approached Congress with complaints against Twitter.
The Twitter and Tesla CEOs have been embroiled in a legal battle since the billionaires announced they were walking away from their deal in July. While Twitter sued Musk after his announcement, Musk resisted the service. The five-day trial will begin from October 17. While Musk wants out of the deal, Twitter has asked a court to order the billionaire to buy the company for an agreed-upon amount.