A handicapped person's parking permit has allowed Conservative People's Party (EKRE) adviser Karl Songisepp to park his golden Land Cruiser in front of the Toompea Castle on several occasions. The young man claims he is driving around his father whom the permit belongs to.
Information available to Postimees suggests Songisepp, who joined EKRE last spring, does not have a permit to use the Riigikogu parking lot but has done so regardless. The man has been reprimanded and told to move his vehicle on several occasions.
Because parking space is scarce in front of the building and in the courtyard, the adviser was not issued a permit.
Songisepp resorted to a handicapped person's parking card and has now been seen parked a little farther, next to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
No parking is allowed there without a handicap card. The document in question has been issued to his father, former city official Mati Songisepp.
Then Center Party member Mati Songisepp was handed a conditional prison sentence for taking a bribe of €144,000 years ago. Songisepp had spent the money by the time the case went to trial. Some of the bribe money was spent on his son's go kart hobby.
Using another person's parking card is illegal, while the law states that people accompanying disabled persons can only use the card if they are with the permit holder.
Postimees went to the Riigikogu to ask Karl Songisepp about the matter. “No-no, it (handicapped person's parking card – ed.) belongs to my father. We come to the city together. I take him to work and go to work myself, and later, I drive him home.”
When asked whether he had driven his father to work that day (Songisepp was seen arriving alone), Songisepp said: “Father is on the other side of the Old Town today, working or whatever it is he does.” That morning he had parked the car in a paid parking zone.
Because that morning's faction meeting required the adviser's presence, Songisepp asked us to email him our questions. We sent three.
We inquired, among other things, where his father worked, how long the parking card has remained on the dashboard of his car, and why he insists on parking next to the cathedral in the morning, making it look like he is misusing his father's parking permit.
“My father has been found to have a moderate disability and been issued an invalidity card. Because he needs help getting around, as I am his son, I help him. It is unethical to pick on a disabled person and someone who is helping them to cast a shadow on the party. Would you like us to take a selfie for you every time we come to the city together?” Songisepp replied.
Songisepp later wrote that the information at Postimees' disposal is one-sided. “Because my father, who works in the field of transport as a freelance adviser, often needs to visit the city center, we try to time our visits downtown. I was bringing him to the city and driving him back home long before I started working at the Riigikogu. Father tries to avoid driving as much as he can due to health concerns,” the young man explained.
“We've parked next to the orthodox church only a few times when father has had business in the Old Town. True, he does not work for the church. We usually park elsewhere in the city; we leave the car wherever father has to go,” he added.