(Reuters) - The chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal recommended on Wednesday that the Pentagon drop a conspiracy charge against five prisoners accused of plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.
The prosecutor, Brigadier General Mark Martins, expressed doubts that the conspiracy charge would withstand legal appeal.
If that charge is dropped, the defendants would still face seven other charges in the tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, including charges of murdering 2,976 people in the attacks, carried out by al Qaeda operatives using hijacked planes.
They could still be executed if convicted of planning and executing the attacks that propelled the United States into an ongoing global war against al Qaeda and its affiliates.