Portal: Center MP appears to use vehicle to intimidate protestor

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Photo: Screenshot

A Center Party MP appeared to use his vehicle as a weapon against a protestor outside the Riigikogu Monday, news portal Delfi reports. The MP has since apologized for the incident, in which no injuries were sustained.

The man, named by the media as Daniel Rüütmann, Delfi reports (link in Estonian), was protesting outside Toompea Castle, seat of the Estonian parliament, and was remonstrating with a Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) official, as captured on video, when a black Volvo driven by Center MP Igor Kravtšenko swung into view, stopping just short of Rüütmann, who was facing away from it.

The MP then inched the vehicle forward again, making contact with the protestor, who then stepped aside. Kravtšenko then drove forward, towards car parking spaces reserved for MPs. The video shows him returning on foot to enter the Riigikogu building, and while Rüütmann also remonstrated with him, Kravchenko did not appear to issue comment.

The Center MP subsequently issued a statement of apology, calling what he had done thoughtless and unacceptable, expressing regret and apologizing to Rüütmann. He also said that fortunately nothing serious had happened, and that he had spoken to Rüütmann about the incident.

Rüütmann, who was formerly known as Tanel Gabtšenko, according to Delfi, said that Kravtšenko had acted intentionally and with no effort to warn him while he was engaged in a heated conversation with the PPA official, adding that he would be taking legal advice.

What Rüütmann was protesting was not reported; Toompea was last month the scene of anti-lockdown demonstrations, which were subsequently moved down the hill to Vabaduse väljak, due to social distancing considerations.

The incident has not been declared a police matter, while Center Party spokesperson Andres Kalvik told ERR that the party had discussed the incident at a meeting Tuesday morning.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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