Spanish prosecutors will recommend against opening an investigation into whether six Bush administration officials sanctioned torture against terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, the country's attorney general said Thursday.

Candido Conde-Pumpido said the case against the high-ranking U.S. officials — including former U.S. Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales — was without merit because the men were not present when the torture took place.

"If one is dealing with a crime of mistreatment of prisoners of war, the complaint should go against those who physically carried it out," Conde-Pumpido said in a breakfast meeting with journalists. He said a trial of the men would turn Spain's National Court "into a plaything."

Prosecutors at Spain's National Court have not formally announced their decision in the case, but Conde-Pumpido is the country's top law-enforcement official in the country and has the ultimate say.

A Spanish investigative judge is not bound to accept the prosecutor's ruling, but it is highly unusual for a case to proceed without the support of prosecutors.