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Fico's security detail failed — second bullet should have hit bodyguard, expert explains

Police tape at the hospital in Banská Bystrica
Police tape at the hospital in Banská Bystrica Copyright Erdős Dénes/AP
Copyright Erdős Dénes/AP
By Magyar Ádám
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This article was originally published in Hungarian

Personal security expert Dr J Ervin Kis told Euronews that Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico's bodyguards reacted too late to the apparent shooter and not according to protocol.

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Robert Fico's security team made grave mistakes during Wednesday's assassination attempt on the Slovakian prime minister, according to an expert on personal security.

Dr J Ervin Kis helped Euronews analyse the available footage of the attempt on his life in the central town of Handlova. 

Robert Fico környezete pillanatokkal a lövések előtt
Robert Fico környezete pillanatokkal a lövések előttRtv

According to Kis, Fico, marked in the above picture with a red arrow, is not boxed in by his bodyguards, the closest one being a good metre away, right before the assailant opened fire. 

Kis explained that the biggest problem, however, is on Fico's left, where the bodyguards are even further away. As the shots came from the right, and no one was protecting Fico on the left, he fell to the ground without someone to prevent his fall. 

Bodyguards did not consider chances of more than one assassin

According to the expert, in such situations, once a shooter opens fire, the first shot is almost impossible to avoid.

However, the second bullet should ideally have been absorbed by the body of one of the bodyguards. Yet, Fico's security detail reacted too late and not according to protocol.

Fico már a földre rogyva
Fico már a földre rogyvaRtv

A few moments later, Fico is seen on the ground as a result of being shot. Yet, he is still not covered by his bodyguards. 

The men on the right in the picture above were busy disarming the attacker, which is fine, according to Kis, though they were late to react. 

The bodyguards close to Fico were not covering him with their bodies -- which could have been a bigger problem if there had been more than one assailant, according to Kis. The second attacker could have kept shooting, with the prime minister being an easy target.

Kis said the bodyguards were neither in a state of heightened alertness nor properly reactive despite indications of a potential attack surfacing just weeks before the shooting. Fico himself had previously said that an assassination attempt on him could not be ruled out, he explained.

"On 24 April, the alleged shooter shouted loudly at a demonstration, 'Enough of Fico'. So if intelligence had footage of this, if intelligence already knew this, and if intelligence reacted to this, in a crowd of 30 people, this person could have been screened out," Kis said.

After the shooting, Slovakia's former police chief Istvan Hamran also said that security had failed and there was chaos at the time of the attack.

Meanwhile, the Slovakian prime minister remains in serious condition after undergoing further surgery on Friday.

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