‘Lone wolf’ suspect in Slovak PM’s shooting charged with attempted murder

The suspect in the shooting of Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico was charged with attempted murder with premeditation, Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok said Thursday. Tuesday’s shooting attack was “politically motivated”, Sutaj Estok added.

"Slovak police are working with a single version of the attack and the suspect is charged with attempted murder with premeditation," Sutaj Estok told reporters.

"This is a lone wolf whose actions were accelerated after the presidential election since he was dissatisfied with its outcome," he added, referring to Slovakia's 2024 presidential election.

The gunman shot Fico, 59, five times, initially leaving the prime minister in critical condition and undergoing surgery hours later on Wednesday evening.

Defence Minister Robert Kalinak told a news briefing hours earlier that Fico had suffered "serious polytrauma" after several shot wounds.

"I was very shocked ... fortunately as far as I know the operation went well - and I guess in the end he will survive ... he's not in a life-threatening situation at this moment," Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Minister Tomas Taraba told the BBC's Newshour.

Taraba said one bullet went through Fico's stomach and a second hit a joint.

The shooting in the central Slovak town of Handlova, which Slovak media said was carried out by a 71-year-old man, stunned the small central European nation and drew international condemnation.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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