US & Canada

Michael Jackson's doctor free to practise

LaToya and Jermaine Jackson leave court 16/06
Image caption Michael Jackson's family were in court for the decision

The doctor accused of giving Michael Jackson a lethal dose of anaesthetic will be allowed to work in California as he awaits trial, a court has ruled.

During a brief procedural hearing, a Los Angeles judge said he did not have the authority to ban Dr Conrad Murray.

Members of the popstar's family were inside court to hear the ruling.

Dr Murray, 57, denies involuntary manslaughter of Jackson, who died last June. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 23 August.

California's attorney general had asked the judge to suspend the cardiologist in the run-up to the trial.

But Dr Murray's lawyers argued that he needed to continue working to pay for his defence.

Image caption Dr Conrad Murray faces up to four years in jail if convicted

They said he had no intention of practising in California, but argued that a ban in that state would affect his working in Texas and Nevada.

Judge Michael Pastor said the matter had already been ruled on by a previous judge, and he refused to allow the attorney general's application.

"I do not have the ability to revisit a ruling by one of my colleagues," he said.

The doctor is alleged to have administered a lethal dose of Propofol and other drugs, which resulted in the popstar's death on 25 June.

A condition of Dr Murray's bail is that he does not administer Propofol.

If convicted, he faces up to four years in jail.

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