Suspect to remain behind bars after failed assassination attempt on Slovak prime minister

The man accused of attempting to assassinate Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has been ordered to remain behind bars, officials said.

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

Fico is in serious but stable condition after surviving multiple gunshots this week. He was shot after holding a Cabinet meeting in the Trenčín region of central Slovakia.

He underwent a four-hour-long surgery and his condition was described as “really very complex” since he was in “life-threatening condition.”

Video showed Fico approaching a group of people gathered at a barricade. He reached out to shake hands with his supporters when a man stepped forward, extended his arm holding a weapon and fired five rounds before being arrested.

Government officials said Saturday that his condition looks promising, but he still is not ready to be transferred to a hospital in the capital, Bratislava, the AP reported. His office also indicated Thursday that he was expected to recover.

Prosecutors have told police not to publicly identify the suspect or release details about the case. Some media has named him and said he is a 71-year-old retiree.

Officials said he doesn’t belong to any political group, though they say the attack was politically motivated.

Fico is a pro-Russian leader who won power for the fourth time last October. He previously warned about heightened tensions in the country.

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

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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