Brazil electoral judge orders arrest of local Google executive

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Fabio Jose Silva Coelho accused of failing to remove videos critical of a mayoral candidate.

A Brazilian court has ordered the arrest of the head of Google Inc.’s local operations for not taking down You Tube videos that criticized a mayoral candidate running in November’s elections.

Fabio Jose Silva Coelho was in contempt of court for not removing two videos posted to YouTube that criticized a candidate running for the mayor’s office in the city of Campo Grande, in Mato Grosso do Sul state, a spokeswoman for the court said.

The arrest warrant “is now in the hands of the federal police,” said the spokeswoman.

Google said it will appeal the court’s decision, and that YouTube isn’t responsible for content uploaded to the site. An appeal, however, hadn’t been filed on behalf Mr. Coelho as of Tuesday afternoon, the court spokeswoman said.

The court had ordered YouTube to remove two videos considered “offensive” for their criticism of Alcides Bernal, a candidate for mayor of Campo Grande. The judge also ordered access to YouTube in Campo Grande to be suspended for 24 hours or throughout the entire state of Mato Grosso do Sul should banning the site within the city prove difficult.