A wealthy businessman in British Columbia has settled his lawsuit against Twitter Inc., ending a years-long legal battle that centred around a series of tweets linking the billionaire to unfounded conspiracy theories involving Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Frank Giustra, who lives in West Vancouver, B.C., settled his defamation case with the social media giant in B.C. Supreme Court earlier this month.
"Mr. Giustra started this action because he wanted to hold Twitter accountable in circumstances where it knew about defamatory, hateful and threatening tweets made on its platform by anonymous users but refused to remove them," read an email from Giustra's lawyer, Fred Kozak.
"The parties have agreed to resolve this action."
The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
Giustra sued Twitter in 2019 over a series of tweets he claimed made him out to be "corrupt" and "criminal."
He said the posts included death threats and links to "pizzagate" — a "false, discredited and malicious conspiracy theory in which [Giustra] was labelled as a 'pedophile,'" according to the initial lawsuit.
The lawsuit said Giustra was targeted by a group who vilified him "for political purposes" in relation to the 2016 U.S. election and his work in support of the Clinton Foundation.
Giustra said Twitter neglected or refused to remove the posts.
In court, Twitter responded by trying to have the lawsuit thrown out over jurisdiction. The company accused Giustra of relying on his B.C. connections to file the case in Canada because it would be a non-starter in the U.S., where the First Amendment protects free speech.
Platforms like Twitter cannot be prosecuted for what others publish through their platforms.
Judges in both B.C. Supreme Court and the B.C. Court of Appeal threw out Twitter's argument, agreeing Giustra's claim could be heard in the province.
Giustra, who made his money in the investment and resource sectors, is the founder of Lionsgate Entertainment, one of the world's largest independent film companies. The philanthropist is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.
CBC News contacted Giustra but he declined to comment. He is still active on Twitter.