Slovak Premier Released to Home Care After Assassination Attempt

(Bloomberg) -- Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, recovering from injuries sustained in an assassination attempt this month, was released from hospital to undergo treatment at home.

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The premier now faces “physically and time-consuming rehabilitation,” the hospital in the central Slovak city of Banska Bystrica said in a statement posted on Facebook Friday. He was moved to his home in the capital Bratislava.

The Slovak leader, 59, was shot four times at close range on May 15 after a government meeting in Handlova, northeast of Bratislava. A 71-year-old suspect was arrested at the scene as authorities cited a politically motivated crime, the first such attempt on a European leader in more than two decades.

The shooting sent shockwaves across Europe and stoked tensions in one of the most politically polarized countries in the region, with Fico allies accusing the opposition and media of generating hostility against the Slovak premier. The opposition has warned the government not to exploit the attack to sideline criticism.

While popular in Slovakia, Fico’s administration has faced scrutiny over rewriting the criminal code to weaken corruption-fighting tools and seeking to take control of the country’s public television and radio.

The assailant has been taken into pre-trial custody and charged with attempted murder. If found guilty, he’ll face up to 25 years in prison or life imprisonment.

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