'Worst fears have passed' for shot Slovakian PM Robert Fico

'Worst fears have passed' for shot Slovakian PM Robert Fico

The condition of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico remains "serious" but worst fears have "passed", the country's defence minister told journalists on Sunday.

Fico, 59, was shot in the abdomen as he greeted supporters following a government meeting Wednesday in the former coal mining town of Handlova, in an attack that sent shockwaves across the deeply polarized European Union nation.

"I think that the worst of what we feared has passed, at least for the moment,” Slovak Defence Minister Robert Kalinak told reporters outside the hospital where Fico is being treated.

“But his condition remains serious,” he added.

Fico had two hours of surgery on Friday to remove dead tissue from his gunshot wounds and he is still not healthy enough to travel to a hospital in the capital, Bratislava, ministers said.

The man accused of attempting to assassinate Fico was ordered to remain behind bars on Saturday, after prosecutors said they feared he could flee or carry out other crimes if set free.

The suspect can appeal the order to the Supreme Court.