US official declines prosecution bid to drop conspiracy charge in Guantanamo Sept. 11 case

There will be no change to the charges against five Guantanamo Bay prisoners accused in the Sept. 11 attacks after all. At least not yet.

A Pentagon legal official has denied a prosecution request to withdraw the conspiracy charge. The chief prosecutor sought to dismiss the charge because a court ruling in another case meant that charge was vulnerable to appeal.

But the legal official known as the convening authority says it is too soon to make that decision. The decision by retired Adm. Bruce McDonald was announced Friday. It means the five prisoners will still be facing eight charges, including nearly 3,000 counts of murder for planning and aiding the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Their death penalty trial is likely at least a year off.