10 September 2004 -- The head of the Georgian International Oil Corporation has been removed from office by Georgian President Mikhel Saakashvili.
Georgian media quoted aides to Saakashvili as saying the president signed a decree dismissing Giorgi Chanturia late yesterday. No reason was given for the decision and no replacement for Chanturia has been announced.
Chanturia had been running the oil corporation since its creation in 1995. He was responsible for negotiating and implementing construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipelines. Both U.S.-sponsored international projects would carry Azerbaijani-produced oil and gas to Turkey through Georgia.
Chanturia was one of the few remaining officials appointed under the administration of former President Eduard Shevardnadze.
(Civil Georgia/Prime News/Novosti-Gruziya)