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Slovakia: Robert Fico operated on again – suspect in court

Slovakia: Robert Fico operated on again – suspect in court

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is still not out of danger two days after the attack. The suspected attacker will have to justify himself in court for the first time on Saturday.

Two days after the assassination attempt on his life, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico underwent a second operation on Friday. The procedure was a “standard step,” said Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak and Miriam Lapunikova, the head of the clinic in the regional capital Banska Bystrica, according to the TASR news agency. The government office in Bratislava had previously informed the German Press Agency that the 59-year-old politician would continue to be treated in the intensive care unit. Further information about the politician’s state of health will be announced “if the situation allows it.” Fico is not said to be out of danger yet.

Fico was shot and critically injured by a 71-year-old man in the small town of Handlova on Wednesday. The attacker was arrested immediately after the crime. On Saturday, a court is expected to decide on the public prosecutor’s request to take him into custody. The public prosecutor’s office informed the TASR. An investigation into attempted murder was initiated against the man on Thursday, and Slovak authorities believe there was a political motive.

Complications for Slovakia’s head of government could be life-threatening

The government office called on the media, politicians and the public on Friday to only disseminate officially confirmed information. The authority criticized that misleading false information and speculation were also spread in the media. As Kalinak announced, the medical college would not decide before Monday on a possible transfer of the patient from Banska Bystrica to the capital Bratislava. Defense Minister Kalinak is Fico’s first of four deputies in the government and replaces him in his absence.

According to the latest information from Kalinak and Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok, the head of government was hit by four shots and was operated on for five hours in the Banska Bystrica clinic on Wednesday. The severity of the injuries could make recovery difficult; Fico will “have to learn a lot again,” Kalinak said. Even if Fico is accessible in the hospital, there is still no final certainty “that we have won”. Fico is not yet out of danger. Health experts also pointed out that complications after surgery could still be life-threatening.

President wants to reduce political tensions

Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova wants to reduce political tensions after the assassination attempt on Fico and invited the parties to a meeting on Tuesday. This was announced by her spokesman. The head of state Caputova, who will be in office until June 15th, and her elected successor Peter Pellegrini want to appear together at the meeting. Further details would be announced later. Immediately after the attack, Caputova not only condemned the act, but also called on all parties to control their emotions. A single perpetrator fired the shots, “but the tense atmosphere of hatred was our joint work,” she explained.

In the days following the attack, various security experts criticized Fico’s personal protection in the Slovak media. There were also calls for Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok to resign. He not only refused to resign, but also questioned the media criticism as improper and unfounded.

Source: Stern

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