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Giuliani to fight Noriega suit

Ex-dictator suing game maker

This photo provided by Activision Blizzard Inc. shows Manuel Noriega as depicted in the 2012 game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” (Associated Press)
This photo provided by Activision Blizzard Inc. shows Manuel Noriega as depicted in the 2012 game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” (Associated Press)
Anthony Mccartney Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will argue a case against Activision filed by disgraced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega against the “Call of Duty” franchise, the video game maker said Thursday.

Giuliani joined the legal team fighting Noriega’s lawsuit last month but had not been expected to argue the video game giant’s case at an Oct. 16 hearing.

Noriega sued Activision Blizzard Inc. in July over his inclusion in 2012’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” The former military dictator did not authorize the use of his likeness in the game, but Activision contends its usage is protected by the First Amendment.

The ex-dictator sued, claiming the game maker depicted him as a killer and enemy of the state. The game features a story line in which players capture Noriega, who in turn helps the game’s villain. Activision contends that Noriega plays a minor role in the game and his case should be dismissed.

“Manuel Noriega had no more than an inconsequential appearance in ‘Call of Duty’ and isn’t entitled to anything for his role as a brutal dictator,” Giuliani wrote in a statement.

In a sworn declaration, Noriega wrote that he learned his likeness had been used in the “Call of Duty” game after his grandchildren played it and asked why one of the missions focused on capturing the ex-dictator.

Giuliani was mayor of New York City for two terms and is a former U.S. attorney. In private practice, Giuliani worked as a free speech lawyer, representing major news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal.

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