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Nude hiker heads to court with clothes on

A hiker charged with “indecent behaviour” for walking in the mountains in the nude has appeared in court for the first time.

The 46-year-old rambler was the only nude hiker to get pinched in 2009 in canton Appenzell Outer-Rhodes, which does not have a law against being naked in the wild, unlike neighbouring Appenzell Inner-Rhodes, which does.

The traditional open-air assembly in Appenzell Inner-Rhodes last year decided overwhelmingly to clamp down on a sudden influx of nudists, particularly from nearby Germany.

The man, who lives nearby, refused to pay the SFr100 ($87) fine that police sent him. If convicted, he may also be forced to pay legal fees amounting to SFr870.

The lawyer for the naked hiker is arguing that the man was not behaving indecently and had not bothered anyone. A female hiker reported him to police after she had followed him.

The accused said he has been seeking out lonely trails for nude hikes for about two years now and sometimes goes skinny-dipping. He said he does not feel comfortable being around people, whether he’s naked or not.

The man was walking nude on October 11 near Herisau when he passed by a picnic area and near a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts.

A verdict is expected on Friday. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR