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It is prima facie nonsense and should be treated as a bug waiting to happen. Looks like the work of a committee, all in one line. :-| If the content of the string is really what you said above it is even possible that it is an introduced virus or trapdoor of some kind with a primitive obfuscation scheme. View with extreme suspicion.
Your comment sheds some light on the possible reason for the way it was implemented. You are correct in stating that the code is a bug waiting to happen that is how I came across
Could it have been someone's lame attempt to convert the character set of the string from "ISO8859-1" to "UTF-8"?
Could have been anything at all. I don't care to speculate further.