Who is Juraj Chintula, the retiree accused of shooting the Slovak prime minister?

A “good neighbor”, an amateur writer, an angry citizen: the septuagenarian accused of having wanted to assassinate Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico presents multiple faces, none of which really fit with the radicality of his gesture.

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In front of a block of buildings in Levice, a medium-sized town in central Slovakia, passers-by take a quick look at the 7th floor.

The alleged shooter, identified by Slovak media as Juraj Chintula, has lived for around forty years in one of these apartments overlooking a main avenue, says a neighbor.




Indicted for shooting the head of government on Wednesday, still in serious condition, 80 km away, “he must have been driven mad,” says Ludovit Mile about this attack which stunned the country.

Aged 71, he is “a friendly, helpful neighbor” whom he has known since 1983 and to whom he spoke again on Monday, he said.

“We all have our own political opinions, but he never forcefully professed his,” assures Mr. Mile while admitting that he was “against certain measures taken by the government” of Robert Fico.

But with the retiree, father of two adult children, he spoke “very little about politics”, insists the 68-year-old man.

“Against violence”

An attempted murder “politically motivated”, as the police claim? “No, no, it’s not possible,” insists this neighbor, describing the peaceful life of a lover of bucolic walks with his wife.

For several years, Juraj Chintula had stopped working as a security guard in a shopping center in Levice and suffered from health problems, he says.

Since the attack, Slovak media have unearthed a video in which he testifies, on a television channel in 2016, to the attack he suffered from an angry customer during his last job in a supermarket. .

The report shows this slender man, with a salt-and-pepper goatee, covered in bruises on his face and arms.

Shortly after, he wanted to found a political movement “against violence” which he discussed in YouTube videos, one of which can still be seen online.

“The world is full of violence and weapons. People seem to have gone crazy,” he declared in these images deciphered by the daily Postoj. “Our goal is to unite people, preserve peace and restore democracy. It’s very difficult because no one trusts anyone anymore.”

“Migrants are flocking to Europe, hatred and extremism are omnipresent. But the worst is that European governments have no alternative to this chaos,” he also said.

This movement has a Facebook page, which has 191 subscribers. One of the latest publications, dated April 2022, is the video of a demonstration against the war in Ukraine organized in Bratislava by Russians claiming to be anti-Putin.

Literary club

Mr. Chintula “did not talk about the conflict,” assures his neighbor Ludovit Mile.

Nor did he speak much to her about his other passion: literature and poetry. He was one of the co-founders in 2005 of a literary club in Levice called “Duha” (rainbow), a name chosen because “each artist has his own style but all together can create more beauty”. one of the members explained to AFP, on condition of anonymity.

The club, which aims to be “strictly apolitical”, denounced the attack committed against the Prime Minister as an “immense tragedy”.

Author of several collections of poems, the alleged shooter “has not attended any meeting or event of the club since 2019 and none of his work has been published” since that date, further clarified Duha who says he is “assailed » by hate messages since Wednesday evening.

Visible on social networks, a photo taken in 2016 with members of the pro-Russian association Slovenskí branci (Slovak Conscripts), close to the far right, also raises questions.

He praised them on Facebook, seeing them as “patriots” protecting the population. The paramilitary organization ceased its activities two years ago.



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