MOSCOW, January 22 - RAPSI. Following the interrogation of Alexander Yevtukhov, the key witness in the assassination case of Colonel Yuri Budanov, investigators have begun to look into claims that defendant Yusup Temerkhanov's lawyers attempted to bribe the witness.

After Yevtukhov said that he had received 100,000 rubles ($3,300) from the defendants' lawyers, the court announced a recess until January 28.

Three days ago, the defendant's lawyers reported that Yevtukhov had disappeared in suspicious circumstances. However, the witness appeared in court on Monday to give testimony, though refused to answer questions about his alleged kidnapping.

Yevtukhov testified that Yusup Temerkhanov did not look like the man who killed Budanov and that the killer was a man of Slavic appearance, shorter in stature than Temerkhanov.

The jury, however, did not actually hear Yevtukhov's words as they were asked to leave the room during his testimony.

Furthermore, Yevtukhov has filed two complaints, claiming that the defendant's lawyers threatened him and that he received money from them.

Investigators believe that Yusup Temerkhanov planned to commit murder after his father was killed in Chechnya in 2000. They suspect he picked Budanov as his victim because the colonel had been tried for kidnapping and murdering a Chechen girl named Elza Kungayeva in 2000.

Budanov was convicted of war crimes in Chechnya in July 2003. A military court found him guilty of abuse of power in connection with Kungayeva's kidnapping and murder. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and deprived of his rank, metals, and the opportunity to hold official positions for three years after his release.

In January 2009, he was released on parole.

In June 2011, Budanov was shot dead as he walked out of a notary office in central Moscow.