Top court has its share of unusual cases

Naked hikers, a pianist with stage fright and a dentist who removed the wrong teeth were just some of the cases heard by Switzerland’s highest court in 2011.

This content was published on December 27, 2011 - 15:15 and agencies

Federal Court judges ruled for the first time on the issue of naked ramblers in the Swiss countryside, saying cantons could ban the practice. It approved a SFr100 ($107.40) fine handed out to a nudist who was seen walking in the canton of Appenzell Outer-Rhodes.

The court came down hard on a Basel dentist who made the mistake of taking out four molars instead of a young patient’s wisdom teeth. He was given a SFr500 fine and a suspended sentence.

A piano teacher was able to keep his diploma, which the Fribourg conservatory had contested when, overcome by nerves, he was unable to perform in a final graduation concert. Meanwhile a pastor from canton Graubünden was barred from preaching after being found guilty of accepting donations from a clergy member aged in her 90s.

Judges dismissed the case of a Neuchâtel sports teacher wanting to earn the same salary as language or math teachers.  

A number of the some 7,400 cases dealt with were driving offences. In one instance, a man was fined SFr300 and ordered to pay SFr2,000 in costs for driving with his cat curled up on the dashboard.

A truck driver meanwhile was fined just SFr100 for hitting and injuring a pedestrian who was reading and under the influence of drugs. The court said the driver should have honked his horn or tried to attract the person’s attention.

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In compliance with the JTI standards

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