An attempt by state prosecutors to appeal Oscar Pistorius' six-year sentence for murdering Reeva Steenkamp has been rejected.
South African Judge Thokozile Masipa rejected the application, saying the petition had no reasonable prospects of success.
Masipa sentenced the Paralympic gold medallist in July over the killing of his girlfriend Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013.
The prosecution said the sentence that should see Pistorius eligible for parole in three years was too lenient.
Pistorius' defence argued the state was prejudiced and had dragged the case on for too long before Judge Masipa delivered her ruling.
It was not immediately clear whether the state would now directly petition the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Pistorius did not attend Friday's hearing, which comes after a lengthy and unpredictable legal saga.
The athlete initially received a five-year jail term for culpable homicide, the South African equivalent of manslaughter.
He was released from prison last October after just a year behind bars.
The 29-year-old was ordered to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest at his uncle's home.
But the conviction was upgraded to murder after an appeal by prosecutors.
Pistorius was earlier this month treated at a private hospital in South Africa for injuries to his wrists, after allegedly trying to self-harm in prison.