• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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71-year suspect charged with attempted murder of Slovak PM Fico


A man has been charged with the attempted murder of Robert Fico, Slovak Prime Minister, after the politician was seriously hurt in a shooting attack.

The suspect has not been formally named, but Slovak reports have widely identified him as a 71-year-old from the town of Levice.

Reports say he could face up to life in prison.

Fico, 59, is in a serious but stable condition after being shot several times in what colleagues described as a politically motivated attack.

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok told a news conference on Thursday that the suspect had acted alone and that he had previously taken part in anti-government protests.

“This is a lone wolf whose actions were accelerated after the presidential election since he was dissatisfied with its outcome,” he said.

Peter Pellegrini, a populist and ally of Robert Fico, won April’s vote.

Fico was shot five times in the stomach and arm at close range in broad daylight on Wednesday,he was surrounded by a crowd of supporters.

The attack took Fico’s security detail completely by surprise. Footage showed several officers bundling the wounded PM into a car, before driving away at high speed, while the others detained the suspect.

Fico was rushed to a nearby hospital in an air ambulance, with injuries described as life-threatening.

He was then transferred to another facility in Banska Bystrica, east of Handlova, where surgeons and trauma teams worked through the night to stabilise him.

On Thursday, the hospital director told a news conference that Mr Fico’s condition was stable, but “truly very serious”, and he had been moved to an intensive care unit.

Previously, Tomas Taraba, Deputy Prime Minister told the BBC that Fico’s surgery had gone “well” and “I guess that at the end he will survive”.