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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Second Claim Staked To Tomlinson Memoirs

A second publisher for the memoirs of former British spy Richard Tomlinson came forward Tuesday, saying previous announcements of the book being published in Russia may be "an English joke."

Two weeks ago, a man calling himself Sergei Korovin said that he had organized the publishing of the book, which tells of Tomlinson's time in the MI6 foreign intelligence service, through previously unknown publisher Narodny Variant.

Even though 10,000 copies of the book "The Big Breach" were supposedly published, the book has been near to impossible to find.

Korovin has never been seen in public. The MI6 says Korovin is a member of the Russian foreign intelligence service.

New publisher Shota Kakabadze told a packed news conference Tuesday that Tomlinson gave him approval to publish the book last week and that Korovin and Narodny Variant were probably fictitious names.

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"What is Narodny Variant? When I tried to answer this question for myself, I thought that maybe it is an English joke by the author," Kakabadze said.

"We're not Korovin, we're a completely different matter," he said.

Insisting that his firm, LCIC Ltd., was genuine, Kakabadze said the book would be published in English by the end of February and soon after in Russian.

Refusing to say where Tomlinson was, Kakabadze pulled out his mobile phone and attempted to phone him during the news conference, but got no answer.

"Maybe he's out walking the dog," joked Kakabadze.

Tomlinson was sacked by the MI6 in 1995 and decided to write a book of memoirs shortly afterward.

He was jailed in 1997 for breaching Britain's Official Secrets Act with the proposed book, and he later fled abroad.

Britain slapped an injunction on the book, but last week reversed itself after the Sunday Times newspaper published extracts and challenged the court order.

Journalists scrambled to get one of five copies of the book left by Kakabadze after the news conference, and organizers decided to draw lots.

The first winner was a man from the U.S. Embassy.

"Aaahh, they arrest [Pavel] Borodin and now they take our book," said one Russian journalist, referring to the former Kremlin official arrested on a Swiss money-laundering warrant in New York.

Click here to buy "The Big Breach: From Top Secret to Maximum Security" from