Slovak prime minister who was shot in an assassination attempt is released from the hospital

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s populist prime minister, Robert Fico, has been released from a hospital where he was treated after an assassination attempt.

Miriam Lapunikova, the director of the hospital in the central city of Banska Bystrica, said on Friday that Fico was transported to his home, where he continues to recover from the attack.

Fico lives in the capital, Bratislava.

Lapunikova thanked Fico in a statement for being “a disciplined patient.”

Fico has been recovering from multiple wounds after being shot in the abdomen as he greeted supporters on May 15 in the town of Handlova, about 140 kilometers (85 miles) northeast of the capital, Bratislava.

Video showed him approach people gathered at barricades and reach out to shake hands as a man stepped forward, extended his arm and fired five rounds before being tackled and arrested.

Fico immediately underwent a five-hour surgery to treat multiple wounds he suffered in the shooting, followed by another two-hour surgery two days later to remove dead tissue from his gunshot wounds.

The country’s Specialized Criminal Court in the town of Pezinok ordered the suspect, who is charged with attempted murder, to remain behind bars.

Prosecutors told police not to publicly identify the suspect or release details about the case.

Government officials originally said they believed it was a politically motivated attack committed by a “lone wolf,” but later announced that a “third party” might have been involved in “acting for the benefit of the perpetrator.”

Fico’s government has made efforts to overhaul public broadcasting — a move critics said would give the government full control of public television and radio. That, along with his plans to amend the penal code to eliminate a special anti-graft prosecutor, have led opponents to worry that he would lead Slovakia down a more autocratic path.

The Associated Press