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Swine insult 'not racist' - Swiss

Calling someone "foreign swine" or "filthy asylum seeker" may be insulting, but it's not racist, Switzerland's top court has ruled.

A Swiss policeman had appealed against his conviction for racial discrimination for using the words against an Algerian man who was arrested on suspicion of theft at a 2007 jewellery fair in Basel.

The Federal Tribunal said today that the unnamed officer's actions were out of order and unacceptable.

But the judges ruled that because the words swine and filthy are "widely used expressions of dissatisfaction or dislike" in the German language, they don't constitute racist attacks against a person's human dignity.

The judges sent the case back to a lower court to decide whether the unnamed officer is guilty of insulting behaviour, a lesser crime.

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