A court has sentenced three Google executives to six months in clink after they were convicted of breaching the privacy of a youth.

Peter Fleischer, David Drummond and George Reye were tried in absentia. They won't serve time because the sentences were suspended.

GoogleThe case came about after students in Italy filmed themselves bullying a child with Down's Syndrome and uploaded the clip to Google Video.

An Italian group representing people with Down's Syndrome called Vivi Down  and the child's father brought the complaint against Google.

Google's defence was that it couldn't be held responsible for videos that people uploaded to the site, and that it removed the clip as soon as a complaint was made.

But the court heard that the video remained online for several months, despite complaints asking for it to be removed.

A fourth Google executive was cleared of the charges. Google will appeal against the charges.