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Slovakia's PM Robert Fico remains in serious condition after further surgery

FILE - Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.
FILE - Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. Copyright AP Photo/Denes Erdos, File
Copyright AP Photo/Denes Erdos, File
By Euronews with AP
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The populist leader was shot multiple times on Wednesday while greeting supporters after a government meeting in Handlova.

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Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has undergone another operation after being shot in an assassination attempt earlier this week and remains in serious condition, according to the country’s deputy prime minister and defence minister, Robert Kaliňák.

Fico, 59, was shot multiple times on Wednesday while greeting supporters after a government meeting in the former coal mining town of Handlová, in an attack that has shocked the nation.

A suspect has been arrested.

Miriam Lapunikova, director of the Roosevelt Hospital in Banská Bystrica – where Fico was taken by helicopter after he was shot – said Fico underwent a CT scan, and that he is awake and stable in intensive care.

Despite the fact he is conscious, she described his condition as “very serious”.

She explained that the surgery removed dead tissues that had remained inside Fico's body.

A man prays holding Slovakia's flag outside the F. D. Roosevelt University Hospital, Banska Bystrica, central Slovakia, Thursday, May 16, 2024.
A man prays holding Slovakia's flag outside the F. D. Roosevelt University Hospital, Banska Bystrica, central Slovakia, Thursday, May 16, 2024.Denes Erdos/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

Political activities in Slovakia have resumed as normal, with ministers continuing their daily activities. 

Meanwhile, earlier on Friday, the man charged with the attempted assassination was escorted by police to his home, reportedly as part of the search for evidence. 

Interior Minister Matuš Šutaj-Eštok said the suspect did not belong to any political party, but had previously taken part in anti-government protests – and that the attempt on the prime minister's life was "politically motivated".

The suspect's detention will be reviewed at a hearing on Saturday at Slovakia's Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok, outside the capital, Bratislava. Prosecutors have warned police not to publicly identify him or release other details about the case.

Local media reports suggested he was a 71-year-old retiree known as an amateur poet and novelist who may have previously worked as a security guard at a mall in the country’s southwest.

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