Slovakia’s PM in first speech since assassination attempt: ‘I forgive him’

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, 59, said in his first speech since the assassination attempt that he forgives the would-be assassin and that he “feels no hatred” toward the person.

“It’s time for me to make the first move,” Fico said in a 14-minute speech posted Wednesday on Facebook. “And that is forgiveness. I feel no hatred towards the stranger that shot me. I will not take any legal action against him, nor will I seek damages compensation.”

“I forgive him and let him sort out what he did and why he did it in his own head,” he added.

Fico, who was shot multiple times on May 15, said the shooter was only a “messenger” of political hate.

“He was only a messenger of evil and political hatred, which the politically unsuccessful and frustrated opposition developed in Slovakia to unmanageable proportions,” Fico said during his speech.

Fico proposed that his anti-NATO posture played a role in him being targeted in Handlova, aatown 90 miles from Bratislava, the country’s capital, where Fico had a government meeting.

“I have no reason to believe this was an attack by a lone madman,” he said.

The prime minister halted the country’s military aid to Ukraine. He said earlier this year that Slovakia would veto Ukraine’s attempt to join NATO, saying it would lead to “nothing other than a basis for World War III.”

Fico, who won his fourth term last year, was shot four times. On Wednesday, he said that the May attack caused “serious” damage to his health and added that it would be a “minor” miracle if he could come back to work in a “few” weeks.

His attacker was identified as Juraj C., 71, who was swiftly apprehended by police following the attack. The shooter said he wanted to hurt but not kill Fico over policy disagreements. At the time of the incident, President Biden said he was “alarmed” and condemned the “horrific act of violence.”

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.