Tripoli  Court of Appeal issued Sunday a ruling to drop the charges against the defendants in the case known as "the Abu Salim Massacre", due to expiration of the litigation period.

"After reviewing the documents and after deliberation and review of laws related to criminal procedures and the General Penal Code; the court rules in absentee and in attendance of the accused, that the crime is subject to a statute of limitations" the judge said at the hearing session.

For his part, the head of the "Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Abu Salim Massacre" Lawyer Fathi Tirbel described the ruling as a "disaster" saying that it has not been based on the correct rules and is an abuse of the law, according to him.

Around 1269 political prisoners were killed by former Gaddafi regime in 1996 inside Abu Salim Prison in Tripoli.