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Slovakia: A week after assassination attempt, Prime Minister Robert Fico is in “stable” condition

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is in a “stable” but still “serious” condition, his deputy said on Wednesday, a week after Mr Fico was wounded by four bullets and hospitalized.

The shooting occurred as the prime minister greeted supporters after a remote government meeting in Handlov, a town in central Slovakia.

“Complex injuries”

He immediately underwent a five-hour operation last Wednesday and a shorter operation on Friday, both at the hospital in Banska Bystrica, where he is still being treated. “His condition was stable this morning,” Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak told reporters after a meeting of the Slovak Security Council on Wednesday.

“His condition is serious, his injuries are complex. Transport is definitely out of the question at the moment,” said Mr Kalinac, Mr Fico’s closest political ally.

He added that the Banska Bystrica hospital would release further information on the prime minister’s health later on Wednesday. The attacker, identified by Slovak media as 71-year-old poet Juraj Chintulu, was remanded in custody by a court on Saturday for attempted premeditated murder.

Erased history

On Sunday, Slovakia’s interior minister said police were investigating the possibility that the shooter did not act alone. Citing intelligence reports, Matouche Soutaj Estocq said someone deleted the shooter’s Facebook history and posts while he was in custody.

However, Slovakia’s media regulatory agency said Facebook owner Meta had informed authorities that it had deleted the suspect’s account. On Wednesday Mr Kalinak, who is also Slovakia’s defense minister, said it was necessary to “distinguish” between the findings of the Slovak investigation and the Meta report.

“We talked about manipulation of the account shortly after the arrest, that is, between the attack and the intervention of Meta,” he said. The assassination attempt exposed deep political divisions in the country, where Fico, 59, took office in October after his populist centrist Smer party won legislative elections.

Mr Fico is serving his fourth term as prime minister after campaigning for peace proposals between Russia and Ukraine, Slovakia’s neighboring country, and an end to military aid to Kyiv, which his government subsequently implemented.

Source: Le Parisien

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