Back in July, former dictator Manuel Noriega filed a suit against publisher Activision for allegedly exploiting his image in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
At the time, interactive entertainment lawyer Jas Purewal pointed out that since Noriega isn't a U.S. citizen, his claims were unlikely to hold up in court. "Noriega isn't a U.S. citizen or even a resident," Purewal said. "This means that his legal claim becomes questionable, because it's unclear on what legal basis he can actually bring a case against Activision."
In a press release issued today, Activision has finally responded, calling the lawsuit "absurd" and "frivolous" and the company is moving to dimiss the suit altogether. Activision has hired former New York City Mayor and U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani (now a partner of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP) to serve as co-counsel and defend the company on the grounds that Noriega's depiction in Call of Duty is a protected right to free speech.
"What's astonishing is that Manuel Noriega, a notorious dictator who is in prison for the heinous crimes he committed, is upset about being portrayed as a criminal and enemy of the state in the game Call of Duty. Quite simply, it's absurd," said Rudy Giuliani. "I'm not interested in giving handouts to a convicted murderer and drug smuggler like Manuel Noriega who is demanding money from Activision and its popular Call of Duty franchise for simply exercising its right to free speech. Noriega's attack on the rights of Call of Duty comes as no surprise considering he's a lawless tyrant who trampled over the rights of his own people."
Activision's motion to dismiss is being filed in Superior Court of the State of California, and relevant legal documents can be read here for those interested.