Advertisement

Fico attacker, 71-year-old Juraj Cintula, charged with attempted murder

The man who allegedly tried to assassinate Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico was charged with attempted murder Thursday. Juraj Cintula, 71, was arrested at the scene of the attempted assassination Wednesday. Police officers stand guard near the cordoned-off crime scene in Handlova, Slovakia, later on Wednesday. Photo By Jakub Gavlak/ EPA-EFE
1 of 2 | The man who allegedly tried to assassinate Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico was charged with attempted murder Thursday. Juraj Cintula, 71, was arrested at the scene of the attempted assassination Wednesday. Police officers stand guard near the cordoned-off crime scene in Handlova, Slovakia, later on Wednesday. Photo By Jakub Gavlak/ EPA-EFE

May 16 (UPI) -- The man who allegedly tried to assassinate Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico was charged Thursday with attempted murder. Juraj Cintula, 71, is a former security guard and writer.

According to Slovakian TV Markiza, Cintula told police he planned the attack but did not intend to kill Fico. The alleged motive was disagreement with government policies.

Advertisement

Local media reports said Cintula co-founded a literary club in 2005, is a published poet and a member of the Slovak Writer's Association.

Cintula's son was quoted by local media confirming that his father didn't like Fico's policies and didn't vote for him.

Cintula has possessed a gun legally for over 30 years.

Slovakia's foreign minister said Cintula doesn't belong to any political groups.

According to the director of Banská Bystrica hospital Fico's condition is "stable but very serious."

Fico and his political party has pro-Russian, pro-Vladimir Putin views. He has called for ending military support for Ukraine.

Fico was hit three times, in the stomach and leg, as the gunman fired five times Wednesday at point blank range.

Slovakian interior minister Matus Sutaj Estok called the shooting a shocking and sad event.

Advertisement

"An attack on Slovakia is an attack on democracy, on the state itself," Estok said. He said information so far indicates a political motivation to the crime.

According to Estok, Cintula was a "lone wolf" attacker not affiliated with any political groups, but had taken part in anti-government protests.

Slovakia Deputy Prime Minister Tomas Taraba said Fico will survive and the operation to save him went well.

Slovakian authorities called for calm in the politically polarized country.

Cintula faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Latest Headlines