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Slovakia: Justice orders preventive detention for a suspect in the attempted murder of Robert Fico

The Slovak Prime Minister is doing well after two operations, according to authorities.

El primer ministro eslovaco, Robert Fico, habla durante una conferencia de prensa con la canciller alemana (invisible) en la Cancillería de Berlín, el 24 de enero de 2024.


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(AFP) The prognosis on the state of health of the Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, after the assassination attempt is "positive," announced Minister of Health Zuzana Dolinkova this Saturday. Meanwhile, a court decided to keep the suspect in preventive detention.

Fico has been hospitalized since Wednesday when a man shot him four times. One of the shots hit him in the abdomen.

The 59-year-old prime minister underwent a five-hour operation on Wednesday and a two-hour operation on Friday at a hospital in the city of Banska Bystrica, in the middle of the country.

"Yesterday's surgical intervention, which lasted two hours, contributed to a positive prognosis regarding the prime minister's state of health," Minister Dolinkova told reporters.

"The prime minister's health condition is stable, but remains serious," she added.

The man, identified by Slovak media as 71-year-old poet Juraj Cintula, shot Fico as he greeted supporters after a meeting with his cabinet in Handlova, in the middle of Slovakia.

The criminal court in Pezinok, northeast of Bratislava, decided this Saturday to keep the suspect in preventive detention.

The arrest was ordered due to "fear of possible escape or continued criminal activity," court spokesperson Katarina Kudjakova told AFP.

The ruling responds to Friday's request by the prosecutor who charged the man with attempted premeditated murder.

"We're not there yet"

"If the shot had gone a few centimeters higher, it would have hit the prime minister's liver," Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok told the TA3 information channel on Saturday.

Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak, Fico's closest political ally, declared that the leader is conscious. "I don't think he can be transferred to Bratislava in the next few days, as his condition is still serious," he told reporters.

A little later, Kalinak told TA3 that Fico suffered four gunshot wounds, two were minor, one was moderate and one was serious. Doctors removed all potentially infectious material from his wounds during the operation on Friday, he added.

"It will take four or five days for the body to begin to overcome such injuries, but we are not there yet," declared Kalinak, who praised the prime minister, runner and bodybuilder for being in good shape.

Fico, who was the government leader between 2006-2010 and 2012-2018, has once again held the position of prime minister since his party, the Smer-SD, won the general elections last year.