Slovak PM Fico’s attacker charged with attempted revenge killing, faces life in prison

Clinic in Banska Bystrica, where Robert Fico was hospitalized
Clinic in Banska Bystrica, where Robert Fico was hospitalized

Slovak investigators have charged a 71-year-old man, purportedly Juraj Cintula, with attempted murder for firing five shots at PM Robert Fico on May 15, three of which struck the politician, according to Slovak outlet TV Noviny.

<span class="copyright">REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa</span>
REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa

The shooter told police that he had planned the attack several days before and intended to harm the prime minister, but not kill him. He had been a legal gun owner for over 30 years.

The attacker faces a sentence of 25 years in prison to life in prison. He spent the night in his cell.

Police officers and forensic experts examined the crime scene in detail, and at around 11 p.m. they inspected the detainee’s car, which Cintula had driven to the town of Handlova. They searched the car and, as reported by TV Markíza, found the attacker's cell phone in it. The car was then seized and taken away.

Police took under guard the apartment building where Cintula lived with his wife in the town of Levice. On the morning of May 16, the 71-year-old pensioner was charged with attempted murder, which he planned to commit in revenge. The alleged motive was disagreement with the policies of the current government and the changes that Fico's government was planning or implementing.

As of the morning of May 16, Fico is in a stable but serious condition after undergoing surgery, reports AP, citing a hospital representative.

Doctors continue to provide medical care to the politician in an effort to improve his condition, Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák told reporters outside the hospital in Banská Bystrica.

The attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico

Fico was shot near a Slovak parliament building on the afternoon of May 15.

Fico approached people in the street, after which several shots were fired and the politician fell to the ground, Slovak media reported.

A Denník N reporter saw the prime minister being lifted off the ground by security guards, transferred to a car, and driven away.

Slovak law enforcement officers reportedly detained the alleged attacker and cordoned off the scene of the shooting.

Read also: Zelenskyy condemns attack on Slovak PM Fico, urges end to violence

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová confirmed that Fico had been shot.

"I strongly condemn today's brutal and ruthless attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico," she wrote on Facebook.

“I am in shock. I wish Robert Fico a lot of strength in this critical moment to recover from the attack.”

Fico is in serious condition, but his life is not in danger, news outlet Plus One Day reported.

Read also: Assassination attempt on Slovak PM Fico made for political reasons - Slovak Internal Affairs Ministry

The government confirmed that Fico was shot five times, apparently in the limbs, chest, and stomach.

Someone in the crowd was heard to shout "Robo, come here," before the shooting started, reports said.

Read also: Slovakia’s PM Fico in critical condition after multiple gunshot wounds

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine