A judge has refused to suspend the medical licence of the doctor charged over Michael Jackson's death.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor made his ruling today, declining a request by Californian authorities to suspend Dr Conrad Murray from practising medicine in the state.
In a court hearing in Los Angeles yesterday, Judge Pastor admitted he did not have the power to overturn the decision previously made by another judge.
He said: "I don't have ability to revisit the actions of one of my colleagues. I do not have jurisdiction to revisit this matter. It doesn't have anything to do with how I feel or what I think. It has to do with the law and this court's ability to follow the law."
Murray's lawyers fought the restriction, arguing that it would prompt authorities in Texas and Nevada to take similar action.
Members of Michael’s family – including his parents Joe and Katherine Jackson, brother Tito and sister La Toya – apparently gasped in disbelief when the doctor’s defence lawyer said taking his license from him would stop him helping people.
Yesterday’s hearing was the fourth time attempts have been made by the office of California’s attorney general to suspend Murray’s medical license – which allows him to continue practicing as a doctor.
Murray operates clinics in both states, which have ordered him not to use anaesthetics on his patients.
California authorities sought the suspension after Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter in February.
Murray is accused of giving the pop star a lethal dose of the anaesthetic propofol last June. He has pleaded not guilty.
The 57-year-old medic is due in court for a preliminary hearing on August 23.
If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, he faces up to four years in prison.