Suspect in attempted assassination of Slovak prime minister now faces terror charges

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The suspect in the attempted assassination in May of Slovakia’s populist prime minister, Robert Fico, is now facing terror charges as part of an investigation by authorities, the country’s prosecutor-general said Thursday.

The suspect, identified only as J.C., was originally charged with attempted murder. Prosecutor-General Maroš Žilinka said in a statement that the change in the charges is based on evidence the investigators obtained, but didn’t immediately give further details.

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

Fico has currently been recovering at home from multiple wounds he suffered in the assassination attempt on May 15 when he was shot in the abdomen as he greeted supporters in the town of Handlova.

The assailant was immediately arrested and a court ordered him to remain behind bars.

Fico has long been a divisive figure in Slovakia and beyond. He returned to power for the fourth time last year after his leftist party Smer, or Direction, won the parliamentary election last September, after campaigning on a pro-Russia and anti-American message.

His critics worry that Slovakia could abandon its pro-Western course and follow the direction of Hungary under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Thousands have repeatedly rallied in the capital and across Slovakia to protest Fico’s policies.

Read more:

Slovakia PM moved to capital to recover after being shot in assassination attempt

Alleged gunman charged with Slovak PM’s attempted murder

Slovakia shooting suspect says he wanted to hurt Prime Minister Fico, not kill him

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