Elon Musk testified in California in the trial that he is accused of a series of tweets in 2018 in which he claimed to have the necessary funds for the delisting of Tesla. The lawsuit against Musk over his tweets was initiated by a shareholder and could cost him billions of dollars in damages if a jury finds him guilty.
According to the suing shareholder, Musk did not have the funds to delist Tesla and acted recklessly in discussing the plan. Musk then added that we cannot ignore the fact that on Twitter there is a limited number of characters that can be used to express a concept, adding that it is a condition known to all.
Musk's lawyers argue that their client was not lying when he posted those tweets and that he was actually considering delisting Tesla from the stock market, adding that the plan failed not because of Musk's will, but due to lack of authorization from shareholders.
Elon Musk defends himself in Tesla delisting tweets trial
At the time, Musk had tweeted that he was considering making Tesla a private company at a price of $420 for the repurchase of each share on the market. He then added that he has the necessary investor backing and that the only reason there are still uncertainties is that there needs to be a shareholder vote.
Musk's behavior had been sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency that monitors the activities of listed companies, on charges of having in fact manipulated the market trend with regard to Tesla shares.
The trial judge has already ruled that Musk made untruthful statements, while now a jury must decide whether or not those statements caused investors to lose money. Following those statements, the value of Tesla's shares on the stock exchange had increased significantly, with many investors interested in obtaining shares to then sell them at the very advantageous price of 420 dollars a share, announced by Musk.
But in the end the agreement was not made, Tesla's shares lost a lot on the stock exchange and so did the investors who had trusted Musk's statements.