The interrogation concerned $700 million that disappeared from Gazprom
FBI investigators interrogated Russia's Federation Council senator Andrey Vavilov while the latter was on his vacation in the US. On January 5, 2004, the federal prosecutor of Northern California demanded that a private plane of Russia's ex-deputy minister of finance, Federation Council member Andrey Vavilov must force-land at the airport of Palm Beach on its way from Moscow to Aspen, RBC reports.
All international airports of the US were instructed beforehand as for particular receiving the Russian senator. On the day of the plane's forced landing several FBI agents, a special agent of the US Finance Department and assistant of the San Francisco federal prosecutor arrived to the airport of Palm Beach.
Andrey Vavilov and his wife were detained for an interrogation that lasted for more than 4 hours. A group of Vavilov's attorneys immediately arrived to Palm Beach from New York.
RBC reports that it was unprecedented when the Russian senator and his wife were released after the interrogation. Andrey Vavilov only had to sign an undertaking that he would further give evidence important for the US authorities being in Aspen.
On January 20, Andrey Vavilov and his wife got back home.
The RBC news agency reports that the interrogations in the US concerned the period of 1995-1997, probably the Pavel Lazarenko case a trial on which is to start on February 17. The investigation concerns disappearance of $700 million from Gazprom, the money about which the US is so much concerned but Russia has no claims about it.
It is reported that the investigation wants evidence of Russia's Ex-president Boris Yeltsin, Viktor Chernomyrdin and Rem Vyakhirev on the issue. If these people enter the US territory, they will be forcedly taken to the American Court. RBC adds that senator Vavilov will insist that Russia must join the trial as the proprietor of the $700 million that is gone.