ATLANTA -- The lead U.S. prosecutor in the politically Banca Nazionale del Lavoro case has been replaced by a white-collar crime investigator from New York.

Howard Heiss, chief of the Justice Department's securities an commodities fraud unit for the southern district of New York, has replaced assistant U.S. attorney Gale McKenzie in the case again Christopher P. Drogoul, the Italian bank's former Atlanta manager in Atlanta.

Mr. Drogoul has been charged with making more than $4 in illegal loans to Iraq during the late 1980s.

Advisory Role Retained

Ms. McKenzie, who could not be reached for comment, remains an adviser on the case, Mr. Heiss said. Also on the task force are Reid Figel, another New York prosecutor, and John Michelich, who represents the agency's fraud section in Washington.

Gerrilyn Brill, another Atlanta prosecutor who assisted Ms. McKenzie, is "no longer involved" in the case, according to Mr. Heiss.

Ms. McKenzie, an Atlanta Prosecutor since 1972, came under widespread press and congressional criticism. Democrats in Condom have accused the Atlanta investigators of covering up alleged involvement by the Bush administration and Lavoro itself in Mr. Drogoul's lending activities.

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