SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo military tribunals says he will seek to dismiss one of the eight charges against five prisoners accused of planning and aiding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins has asked a Pentagon official to strike the charge of conspiracy. The prisoners would still face charges that include nearly 3,000 counts of murder and could still get the death penalty. Their trial at the U.S. base in Cuba is likely at least a year away.

Lawyers for two men accused of lesser roles in the plot said the decision will make it harder to convict their clients.

Martins said in a statement Wednesday that he was prompted to withdraw the conspiracy charge because of an appeal's court ruling in a separate case.