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Elon Musk asks judge to start Twitter trial on Oct. 17

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FILE PHOTO: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a conversation with legendary game designer Todd Howard at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles
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By Tom Hals

WILMINGTON, Del (Reuters) -Elon Musk asked a judge to schedule a five-day trial beginning Oct. 17, not Oct. 10 as requested by Twitter Inc, to resolve his bid to walk away from his $44 billion deal to acquire the social media platform, according to a court filing on Tuesday.

A lawyer for Musk, the world's richest person, said he was writing to ask the judge to "break the impasse to allow things to move forward promptly."

Twitter declined to comment.

Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, the chief judge on Delaware's Court of Chancery, last week ordered an October trial, which promises to be one of the biggest Wall Street legal fights in years. However, she left it to the parties to work out the precise schedule.

Musk, who is the chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, had requested a February trial, which he said provided the time he needed for a thorough investigation of fake accounts on Twitter. He said the company misrepresented its user numbers and therefore breached the merger agreement, allowing him to walk away.

The company, which had requested a September trial, said the fake account issue was a distraction and deal terms require Musk to pay up.

The Musk letter also asked the judge to order Twitter to immediately produce what it called "core documents," require Twitter to produce all raw data by Aug. 1 and require the company to produce documents within 18 days of a request.

Musk accused Twitter of refusing to immediately provide documents such as manuals and policies regarding active daily user calculations and artificial intelligence and "all items in the data room."

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, DelawareEditing by Mark Porter and Mark Potter)

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