GENEVA – Switzerland's top court has ruled that calling someone "foreign swine" or "filthy asylum seeker" may be insulting, but it's not racist.
A Swiss policeman had appealed his conviction for racial discrimination for hurling the slurs at an Algerian man who was arrested on suspicion of theft at a 2007 jewelry fair in Basel.
The Federal Tribunal said Friday 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 behavior, a lesser crime.