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Google Brazil chief arrested over YouTube video

PTI Sao Paulo (Brazil) | Updated on September 27, 2012 Published on September 27, 2012

Police have announced the arrest of the head of Google Brazil over his refusal to remove YouTube videos that allegedly slander a mayoral candidate.

But as the crime that Fabio Jose Silva Coelho is accused of has “low potential to offend” he will not remain in custody, federal police said in a statement.

Rather, he will be released after he agrees in writing to appear in court, the statement said.

An electoral court has said Silva Coelho committed the crime of “disobedience” by not removing two videos that “slander, insult and defame” Campo Grande candidate Alcides Bernal.

The videos accuse the candidate of “instigating abortion, drunkenness, physical injury of a minor, illicit enrichment, and contempt as well as prejudice against the underprivileged,” according to the indictment.

The tribunal, in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, also asked Google to block YouTube in the town of Campo Grande, or the entire state, for 24 hours.

The first round of municipal elections in more than 5,000 Brazilian cities is scheduled for October 7.

The arrest warrant against the Google Brazil president was issued last week by a regional electoral tribunal judge, and another judge rejected an appeal by Google this week.

Google denied the videos were negative campaign ads and a spokesman for the Internet giant said the company was not responsible for the content posted on YouTube.

Google is facing similar problems over other Brazilian election campaign videos posted on YouTube.

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Published on September 27, 2012
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