Brazilian police arrest Google exec over online videos
Google's YouTube site has previously been sanctioned in Brazil over videos critical of political candidates.
- NEW: Authorities release Google's president in Brazil after arrest
- An arrest warrant accuses Fabio Jose Silva Coelho of "disobedience"
- He was asked to remove videos that allegedly slandered a mayoral candidate
- Google argues that it isn't responsible for the YouTube videos' content
(CNN) -- Authorities arrested Google's top executive in Brazil Wednesday after officials said he violated the South American country's election law when he didn't take down online videos that allegedly slandered a political candidate.
An arrest warrant in the southwest state of Mato Grosso do Sul accuses Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, Google's president in Brazil, of "disobedience" for not removing YouTube videos about a local mayoral candidate.
Federal police arrested Coelho Wednesday, but described the alleged crime as a "minor offense" and said he would be released on his own recognizance after signing a commitment paper to appear in court.
CNN affiliate Band News reported that he had been released Wednesday evening.
A Google spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In court documents, the company argues that it isn't responsible for the contents of the videos on the Google-owned YouTube site and asks for the case to be dismissed.
Under Brazilian law, the penalty for disobeying a judge's order could be up to a year in prison, federal police said.
Earlier this month, another company executive faced a similar order in the northern state of Paraiba for a video that allegedly slandered a mayoral candidate there.
That case was dismissed after Google successfully convinced the judge that it was not responsible for the contents of the video but simply provided a platform for its diffusion.
In August, Facebook faced an order to remove a page criticizing a political candidate or be forced to go dark in the country for 24 hours. The judge in that case suspended his decision two days after it was issued.
Many Obamas on the ballot in Brazilian elections
Opinion: Should Google censor an anti-Islam video?
Judge: YouTube doesn't have to take down anti-Islam video
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.