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The man accused of attempting to assassinate Robert Fico was ordered to remain behind bars by Slovakia’s Specialised Criminal Court, with fears that he could flee or commit other crimes if released. Fico, who is in serious but stable condition after surviving multiple gunshots, was shot in the abdomen while greeting supporters after a government meeting. The suspect, reported to be a 71-year-old retiree and an amateur poet, fired five rounds before being subdued. The attack was deemed politically motivated even though the suspect didn’t belong to any political groups.

After undergoing surgery to remove dead tissue caused by the gunshot wounds, Fico’s condition was said to be improving, although he was not yet fit enough to be transferred to a hospital in the capital. The suspect was taken to his home, where police seized a computer and documents, but details on how he acquired the firearm remained unclear. Slovakia has strict gun ownership regulations, leading to low rates of gun ownership in the country. World leaders have condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with Fico and Slovakia.

Fico’s controversial return to power on a pro-Russia, anti-American platform has sparked concerns among EU and NATO members, particularly regarding Slovakia’s position on Ukraine. Despite initially supporting Ukraine during Russia’s invasion, Fico halted arms deliveries to the country upon his return to power. His government’s actions to overhaul public broadcasting and amend the penal code have raised fears of a potential shift towards autocracy. Thousands of demonstrators in Slovakia have protested against his policies, with concerns about his associates facing criminal charges and his plans to eliminate the special prosecutor’s office.

Before his return to power, Fico expressed concerns about rising tensions in the country and the potential for political assassinations, blaming the media for stoking tensions. His plans to eliminate the special prosecutor’s office, which deals with organized crime and corruption, have further raised alarms about his government’s direction. Despite Fico’s absence, the government is said to be functioning as usual, with Defense Minister Rober Kalinak overseeing operations until Fico’s recovery. The next government session is scheduled for Wednesday, with Kalinak expected to lead in Fico’s absence.

The suspect in the assassination attempt on Fico remains in detention while facing charges related to the attack. The Specialised Criminal Court ordered his detention due to concerns of potential flight or further criminal activities. Fico’s condition continues to improve following surgery, although he is not yet well enough to be transferred to a hospital in the capital. The government postponed arms deliveries to Ukraine under Fico’s return to power, and concerns have been raised about his government’s overhaul of public broadcasting and efforts to amend the penal code. Despite ongoing protests against his policies, the government is said to be operating as planned while Fico recovers.

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