Slovak prime minister’s health improving after failed assassination attempt: Officials

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is in recovery after he was shot four times in an attempted assassination earlier this month, the government and hospital said Monday.

Fico, 59, was shot at close range while greeting supporters in Handlova, in central Slovakia, on May 15. He was quickly rushed to a nearby hospital and underwent two multihour surgeries to tend to his wounds.

He is now in improving health, the F.D. Roosevelt University Hospital said in a statement Monday.

“Based on the examination results, today’s medical board meeting confirmed the gradual improvement of the Prime Minister’s health condition,” the hospital said.

The shooting underlines a stark divide in Slovak politics. Fico, described as a populist, is the country’s longest-serving prime minister and has faced mass protests against his leadership.

Fico’s attacker, identified as Juraj C., was quickly apprehended at the scene by nearby police. The 71-year-old man told the court he had wanted to hurt, but not kill, the Slovak prime minister over policy disagreements.

The Specialized Criminal Court in Slovakia ordered him to be detained after prosecutors said they were worried he could flee the country or carry out other crimes if he was free. But, The Associated Press reported, he could appeal the order to the nation’s Supreme Court.

It’s also not clear how the suspect obtained the gun, since Slovakia has strict firearm rules.

The attack was the first assassination attempt of a European leader in more than 20 years.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.