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Former East German 'Stasi' agents questioned over Lockerbie bombing

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Former East German 'Stasi' agents questioned over Lockerbie bombing
Police and investigators at the scene of the Lockerbie crash in 1988. Photo: DPA
14:00 CET+01:00
More than 30 years after the Lockerbie bombing, German prosecutors confirmed Thursday they have interviewed ex-East German secret police agents, at the request of Scottish investigators, over the attack.

Prosecutors in Scotland want to ascertain whether the defunct communist regime's 'Stasi' secret police force was part of the Lockerbie plot by former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, who ordered the bombing.

The Berlin prosecutor's office confirmed via Twitter that they had been asked for help by investigators "from Scotland, due to which several alleged Stasi members, among others, are being questioned in Berlin", without giving any further details.

According to German news agency DPA, five 'European investigation orders' were received by prosecutors between June 28, 2018 and March 13 this year.

Reports say around 20 people, from Berlin and nearby states of Brandenburg and Saxony, have been interviewed with Germany's top-selling daily Bild saying they are aged in their 70s and 80s.

SEE ALSO: Why Germany will never forget the Stasi era of mass surveillance

Deadly attack

The 1988 bombing was at the time Britain's worst attack when a US-bound Pan Am jumbo jet fell on the Scottish village of Lockerbie on December 21, claiming 270 victims, including 11 killed on the ground.

The jumbo jet, heading to Detroit via New York, exploded over a residential area soon after take-off from London's Heathrow due to a bomb concealed in checked baggage.

Libya took responsibility for the attack in 2003 and paid $2.7 billion in compensation to victims' families as part of a raft of measures aimed at a rapprochement with the West.

So far, there has been only one conviction for the Lockerbie bombing, the Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Bassit al-Megrahi, who died of cancer in 2012 still protesting his innocence, while Kadhafi was killed by insurgents in Libya in 2011.

The investigation, which has stalled in recent years, could now be relaunched with the Stasi, which was disbanded just before Germany was reunified in 1990, having been originally linked to the attack in the immediate aftermath.

 

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