Robert Fico's assassination attempt: ‘Lone wolf’ charged for shooting Slovak PM

Author:HT News Desk 2024-05-16 20:50 13

Robert Fico's assassination attempt: A day after he was shot, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico's condition has stabilised but still remains "very serious", his deputy Robert Kalinak has said.

A man aims a handgun at Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico as he was approaching people after a Slovak government meeting in Handlova, Slovakia, May 15, 2024 in this screen grab from a video. (Reuters)

Fico, 59, was attacked by a lone gunman on Wednesday when he was in front of the local House of Culture while he was meeting his supporters. The shooter was overpowered and taken into custody.

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Also Read | Slovakia PM Robert Fico critically injured after being shot. Who is he?

The shooting, which the government called a "political assault", stoked fears over heightened polarisation or even further violence just weeks before European parliament elections.

Robert Fico's assassination attempt: Here's the latest updates:

  • Slovak media have said the suspected assailant, who was apprehended at the scene, is a 71-year-old man.
  • He fired gunman fired five bullets at the 59-year-old prime minister as he greeted supporters following a government meeting in the small town of Handlova in central Slovakia.
  • Media reports claim that the suspect is a former security guard at a shopping mall, the author of three collections of poetry and a member of the Slovak Society of Writers.

    Also Read | Slovak PM Robert Fico expected to survive assassination attempt, says deputy
  • In an undated video posted on Facebook, the suspected attacker was seen saying "I do not agree with government policy". Reuters has verified the video.
Police work at the scene after a shooting incident in which Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was wounded, outside the House of Culture in Handlova, Slovakia May 15, 2024.(Reuters)
  • While the motive for the shooting remains unclear, Slovakia's interior minister Matus Sutaj Estok said the assassination attempt was politically motivated and that the "perpetrator's decision was born closely after the presidential election".
  • "This is a lone wolf who had radicalised himself in the latest period after the presidential election," Estok was quoted as saying by Reuters.
  • Another local news outlet, Aktuality.sk, has cited the attacker's son as saying that his father was the legal holder of a gun licence.
  • "I have absolutely no idea what my father intended, what he planned, what happened," it quoted the son as saying.
  • The son added that all he could say about his father's views about Fico was that he did not vote for him. He also said his father was not a psychiatric patient.

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Title:Robert Fico's assassination attempt: ‘Lone wolf’ charged for shooting Slovak PM

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