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Russian Central Bank Appoints New Deputy Chairman

Russia's Central Bank said Thursday that it had appointed a new deputy chairman to replace Andrei Kozlov, who was shot dead in a crime widely seen as related to his efforts to clean up the country's banking industry.

Gennady Melikyan, 58, had been appointed first deputy chairman responsible for banking supervision, according to a statement posted on the bank's Web site.

A former deputy chairman of state savings bank Sberbank, Melikyan had previously reported to Kozlov at the Central Bank and took over as head of the bank's supervisory committee after his murder.

Prosecutors last month charged a commercial banker, Alexei Frenkel, with organizing the murder of Kozlov, who was shot in September as he left a soccer game among bank employees in Moscow. His driver was also killed.

Kozlov oversaw a cleanup of Russia's banking sector, closing down dozens of banks including Frenkel's over the past three years for alleged money laundering and other practices. His slaying underscored the persistent lawlessness in Russia and the vulnerability of figures who make enemies or fight corruption.

Prosecutors have also charged a woman, Liana Askerova, with complicity in Kozlov's killing. According to Russian media, Askerova identified Frenkel as being behind the murder.

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