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Judge orders arrest of Google Brazil boss

A court has ordered the arrest of the president of Google Brazil over a video alleged to slander a mayoral candidate. Google has said it will appeal, denying responsibility for the content.

The electoral court said the president of Google Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, committed the crime of "disobedience" for not removing two videos from You Tube.

The clips are said to "slander, insult and defame" political candidate Alcides Bernal, who is running to be mayor of the city of Campo Grande.

A spokesman for the regional elections court in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul said on Tuesday that a judge had ordered Coelho's arrest, unless the videos were removed.

Google said it would challenge the court's original decision. "Google is appealing the decision that ordered the removal of the video on YouTube because, as a platform, Google is not responsible for the content posted to its site," the company said

Judge Flavio Peren of Mato Grosso do Sul made the order for the warrant after ruling that the videos should be removed from the site last week. He also ordered a state-wide, 24-hour suspension of both Google and You Tube, its video-sharing subsidiary. The first round of municipal elections in more than 5,000 towns and cities across Brazil is scheduled for October 7.

Bernal told the G1 news website the videos contained content that was "a lie," adding that "justice is upholding the right of every citizen to have his privacy, honor and honesty guaranteed."

The warrant comes as wider questions arise about Google's responsibility for content after an anti-Islam video provoked a wave of fury across the Muslim world.

rc/mz (AFP, Reuters)