(Reuters) – The man detained over the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico will face prosecution on the charge of carrying out a terrorist attack, Slovakia’s general prosecutor said on Thursday.

Fico is recovering after being shot four times at close range when he greeted supporters at a government meeting in the central Slovak town of Handlova in mid-May. That left him needing hours of surgery.

A man identified by prosecutors as 71-year old Juraj C. was detained on the spot after the attack and charged with attempted premeditated murder.

“On the basis of the gathered evidence, the prosecuted act will be further legally qualified as the particularly serious crime of terrorist attack,” General Prosecutor Maros Zilinka said on Facebook on Thursday, without providing further details.

The accused, if found guilty, could face life in prison under the new classification, according to Slovakia’s criminal laws. Previously he had faced 25 years or life in prison.

The attack has highlighted the deep polarisation of politics in the central European country.

The detained man has, according to court documents, said he wanted to hurt the prime minister, but not kill him, because he disagreed with government policies including cancelling a special prosecutor’s office and stopping state military aid to Ukraine.

(Reporting by Jason Hovet in Prague, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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