SCOTTISH prosecutors are planning further interviews with retired ex-officers of the East German secret police the Stasi to find out if they supplied the timer for the bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie.

Seven former Stasi agents are said to have been interrogated over the 1988 atrocity, which killed 270 people.

Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of carrying out the bombing, but the Stasi are known to have helped terrorist efforts in West Germany and it is now thought the Libyan could have had help from East Berlin. The Scots investigators want to speak to more than 20 former East German secret police officers over alleged links to the bombing, according to the German tabloid Bild.

They have sent dozens of interview requests to authorities in the former East Germany and seven retired Stasi agents, all said to be in their 70s and 80s, have already been interviewed under European investigation orders with detectives from Edinburgh in attendance.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt said the orders were executed June last year and March 2019, “solely for the hearing of witnesses”.

Bild said the Stasi could have provided “logistical support” for the attack. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is long thought to have ordered the bombing, although he denied it. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said in December that prosecutors had several strands of investigation which were supportive of the original court finding that the bombing was “Libyan state-sponsored terrorism in which Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was a key player”.

A COPFS spokesperson told The National: “Prosecutors and police, working with UK Government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing those who acted along with Al Megrahi to justice.

“As this is a live criminal investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment.”