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25 May, 2024 14:59

Slovak PM’s condition improving – hospital

Robert Fico’s medical team has confirmed that he is recovering following an attempted assassination
Slovak PM’s condition improving – hospital

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition has improved, the hospital where he is undergoing treatment has said. He is recovering from gunshot wounds after an attempted assassination earlier this month.

F.D. Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia released a short statement on Fico’s condition on Saturday: “After today’s medical board meeting, the team of attending physicians confirmed a subjective improvement in the prime minister’s health condition.”

The prime minister was attacked on May 15 after a political event in the city of Handlova, receiving multiple gunshot wounds. Fico was rushed to the hospital in life-threatening condition and underwent five-hour emergency surgery. He has been recuperating in the hospital since the assassination attempt.

The alleged attacker was apprehended at the scene, later identified by the media as Juraj Cintula, 71, a former security guard and published poet. Cintula was reported to have legally owned the gun he used due to his security job.

According to the Special Criminal Court, which is hearing Cintula’s case, one of the main reasons behind the attack was Bratislava’s decision not to send weapons to Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. Fico has argued against supplying Kiev with weaponry, fulfilling his campaign promises and stopping all Slovak military aid to Ukraine after taking office last year.

The suspect has also shown a general resentment towards the government, disagreeing with it on various issues, including what he described as persecution of the media and artists, as well as the dismantling of the state’s graft prosecution unit, the court said.

Thus far, the attack has been treated as an attempted murder, yet it could end up being re-classified as an act of terrorism, Prosecutor General Maros Zilinka said earlier this week.

“If questions arise in society as to why this is not treated as a crime of terrorism, I answer that it may happen that the act is reclassified as such, but only based on the results of the evidence,” Zilinka told reporters on Wednesday.

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