Slovak PM Fico Released from Hospital, Faces Long Recovery After Assassination Attempt

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has been discharged from the F.D. Roosevelta Banská Bystrica Hospital to convalesce at home, two weeks after surviving an assassination attempt that left him “millimeters” away from death. Fico, who traveled from the hospital to his apartment in Bratislava on Thursday afternoon, now faces a long and difficult road to recovery.

The hospital director thanked Fico for being a “disciplined patient” but emphasized that rehabilitation will be neither easy nor quick. Fico sustained life-threatening injuries to his abdomen, hip, arm, and leg when he was shot at close range on May 15 in Handlova, central Slovakia. The most dangerous wound was to his small intestine, which was perforated five times.

Government colleague Erik Kaliňák revealed earlier this week that the Prime Minister’s survival was a matter of millimeters, praising the doctors for performing “miracles” in their treatment of Fico’s injuries.

The suspected gunman, identified as 71-year-old left-wing poet and activist Juraj Cintula, was arrested at the scene and has since confessed to the crime. According to police reports, Cintula claimed he wanted to remove Fico from office by shooting him but did not intend to kill him. The suspect’s disagreement with Fico’s policies, particularly the government’s decision to keep Slovakia from becoming embroiled in the Ukraine war, is believed to be the motive behind the attack.

As Fico begins his recovery at home, local media reports indicate increased police and security activity in the area around his Bratislava apartment. The investigation into the assassination attempt is ongoing.

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