Slovak Premier Fico’s Prognosis Moving Closer to Positive

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(Bloomberg) -- Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition remains serious but the most recent surgery helped to bring it closer to a “positive prognosis,” a minister said on Saturday.

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Three days after he suffered multiple gunshot wounds in an assassination attempt, Fico, 59, is conscious and stable in an intensive-care hospital unit in the central Slovak city of Banska Bystrica. His transport to the capital Bratislava is unlikely in the next few days, according to Defense Minister Robert Kalinak.

“I don’t think that at this moment another surgery is expected,” Kalinak said in a televised news conference after visiting the prime minister.

About 100 supporters gathered outside the hospital where Fico is being treated to show support for Slovakia’s leader.

Read more: Who Is Robert Fico, the Slovak PM Who Has Been Shot?: QuickTake

Television TA3 reported a skirmish between a Fico supporter and assembled journalists, but the police intervened to end the clash.

Separately, the judge of the Specialized Criminal Court in Pezinok in southwestern Slovakia ruled on Saturday that Fico’s assailant will be held in custody during the investigation. The investigator charged him with attempted premeditated murder of a protected person, for which he faces 25 years or life imprisonment.

The 71-year-old assailant, a pensioner identified only as Juraj C., fired five shots at Fico on May 15 as the Slovakian leader approached a crowd of supporters after a government meeting in the town of Handlova.

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj-Estok referred to the suspect as a lone wolf on Friday, and police are currently working only with one version of events, a political motive.

The suspect disagreed with the government’s policies, including the effort to scrap a special prosecutor’s office, halt military aid to Ukraine, and overhaul public media, Sutaj-Estok said.

(Updates with details on suspect from sixth paragraph.)

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