Slovak Prime Minister Fico is in “serious Condition” as the Shooting Suspect Appears in Court - Latest Global News

Slovak Prime Minister Fico is in “serious Condition” as the Shooting Suspect Appears in Court

A court near Bratislava is examining the prosecutor’s request for pre-trial detention for the attack defendant.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico remained in “serious condition” in hospital as the man accused of attempted murder appeared in court near the capital for the first time.

On Saturday, Health Minister Zuzana Dolinkova said a two-hour operation on Fico the day before to remove dead tissue from multiple gunshot wounds “contributed to a positive prognosis.”

However, it is unlikely that the prime minister will be transferred from the hospital in Banska Bystrica to Bratislava in the coming days as his condition remains “serious,” said Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak, who is also defense minister.

Fico, 59, was shot five times on Wednesday as he left a government meeting and greeted people in downtown Handlova.

Meanwhile, a court in Pezinok, northeast of Bratislava, on Saturday considered a prosecutor’s request to remand the suspect – reportedly a 71-year-old former shopping center security guard and author of three books of poetry – who was accused of attempted murder.

“If the shot had been just a few centimeters higher, it would have hit the prime minister’s liver,” Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok told broadcaster TA3.

Prosecutors had previously asked police not to publicly identify the suspect or reveal other information about the case, but some details were reported by local media.

The court was guarded by officers wearing balaclavas and carrying rifles. News media were not allowed in.

According to the Slovak broadcaster Markiza, the police took the suspect to his house in the town of Levice on Friday and confiscated a computer and some documents.

“Political blame”

The attack shocked the European Union and NATO member country with 5.4 million inhabitants, which had already been politically divided for years.

Prosecutors said the attacker acted alone, but Fico’s supporters say the opposition was partly responsible for stoking political tensions.

Kalinak, Fico’s closest ally, criticized opposition politicians and “select media” on Friday for calling the prime minister a criminal, dictator or servant of Russian President Vladimir Putin before the attack.

“All these lies are the main reason why Robert Fico is fighting for his life today,” he said in an emotional message posted on the website of her political party, Smer.

He also accused the opposition parties and the media of fomenting incitement by promoting protests against government policies.

Slovak opposition leader Michal Simecka, who called the shooting an attack on democracy, said Friday that he, his wife and child had received death threats.

Outgoing pro-Western President Zuzana Caputova and her successor Peter Pellegrini, another Fico ally who will take office in June, have called on their Slovak compatriots to refrain from “confrontation.”

They called a meeting of all parliamentary group leaders on Tuesday to demonstrate unity after the attack.

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