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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ex-British Spy Publishes in Moscow Amid Intrigue

Publishers for former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson said Monday they had released his inside story of Britain's spy service -- but finding the publishers, the spy himself and the book was a task worthy of any James Bond.

Publishers Narodny Variant said a formal launch press conference planned for Monday and which Tomlinson was to have attended had been postponed for security reasons.

"We have been trying hard to arrange the author's participation," Narodny Variant said on its website, specially created for Tomlinson's book, "The Big Breach", which Britain has tried to have banned and which has been published in Moscow for that reason.

"But, unfortunately, several legal advisers told him that he might not be able to return to any European country should he leave his current country for Moscow even for a day," the publishers said.

Publisher Sergei Korovin was not answering his telephone, leaving only a recorded message that the launch had been delayed. E-mails to Tomlinson and Narodny Variant remained unaswered by early afternoon.

Despite concerted legal efforts by Britain to have the book banned in several countries, Britain's Sunday Times has challenged the injunction by publishing excerpts.

Extracts can also be read on the website.

Tomlinson, said to be "somewhere in southern Europe" by the website, served in MI6 during the early 1990s. Frustrated at failed attempts to argue against his dismissal in 1995, he decided to publish his memoirs.


He has already served a prison sentence in Britain for giving a synopsis of his book to an Australian publisher. He says he is willing to return to Britain, and if necessary, go back to jail.

He said he would donate the proceeds from his book to charity as long as he was allowed to take MI6 to an employment tribunal.

The Sunday Times has backed his cause, saying the security services seem "intent on being the last to recognise the more open society in which they operate".

The launch of the book in Moscow has sparked allegations that Russia's own secret services are backing the project to embarrass MI6. But officials have denied this.

"We have no link to this," a spokesman for Russia's SVR foreign espionage agency was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Korovin said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper on Saturday that he had asked Russia's secret services to help finance the book.

"But they refused. True, they did not interfere in the preparation of the book," he added.

He said Tomlinson had sent the manuscript by encoded e-mail and that he had met him secretly five times in the last 18 months. Tomlinson had removed all the names of current MI6 agents from the book, he added.

Some 10,000 copies have been printed and orders can be made via the Internet.