Court rules 'kiss my ass' insulting
The Local · 30 May 2011, 14:57
Published: 30 May 2011 14:57 GMT+02:00
The district court revised an earlier ruling in a case involving a man who uttered the phrase to a policeman at a train station in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
The man responded with the rude remark after the officer asked him not to smoke.
A lower court had originally acquitted the man of insulting the policeman, arguing the phrase was a common colloquial form of speech in the state. But the chamber overturned the ruling and imposed a fine after an appeal by state prosecutors.
German law criminalizes speech considered insulting or hateful. Insulting others with expletives – especially government officials – is a prosecutable offence that can result in fines or even jail time.
The law has occasionally become a source of public debate such as in the case of a North Rhine-Westphalia politician who called the controversial Thilo Sarrazin an “ass,” and was ordered to either pay a fine or go to prison.