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Oscar Pistorius' lawyers fail in attempt to stop prosecution appeal

  • June Steenkamp, the mother of the late Reeva Steenkamp who was shot dead by her  boyfriend Oscar Pistorius in 2013, speaks at the launch of her book, ‘Reeva, A Mothers Story.’ in Johannesburg  Tuesday, March 10, 2015.  Steenkamp said that she did not care about an upcoming appeal hearing by the star athlete. Pistorius’ lawyers will challenge a judge's decision to allow prosecutors to appeal the runner's negligent killing conviction later this week. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)

    June Steenkamp, the mother of the late Reeva Steenkamp who was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius in 2013, speaks at the launch of her book, ‘Reeva, A Mothers Story.’ in Johannesburg Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Steenkamp said that she did not care about an upcoming appeal hearing by the star athlete. Pistorius’ lawyers will challenge a judge's decision to allow prosecutors to appeal the runner's negligent killing conviction later this week. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)  (The Associated Press)

  • June Steenkamp, the mother of the late Reeva Steenkamp who was shot dead by her  boyfriend Oscar Pistorius in 2013, speaks at the launch of her book, ‘Reeva, A Mothers Story.’ in Johannesburg  Tuesday, March 10, 2015.  Steenkamp said that she did not care about an upcoming appeal hearing by the star athlete. Pistorius’ lawyers will challenge a judge's decision to allow prosecutors to appeal the runner's negligent killing conviction later this week. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)

    June Steenkamp, the mother of the late Reeva Steenkamp who was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius in 2013, speaks at the launch of her book, ‘Reeva, A Mothers Story.’ in Johannesburg Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Steenkamp said that she did not care about an upcoming appeal hearing by the star athlete. Pistorius’ lawyers will challenge a judge's decision to allow prosecutors to appeal the runner's negligent killing conviction later this week. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, Oscar Pistorius sits for the fourth day of sentencing proceedings at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa for the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius’ lawyers failed Friday, March 13, 2015 in their attempt to stop prosecutors from appealing the double-amputee athlete’s negligent killing conviction and again seeking a murder verdict against him for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Alon Skuy, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, Oscar Pistorius sits for the fourth day of sentencing proceedings at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa for the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius’ lawyers failed Friday, March 13, 2015 in their attempt to stop prosecutors from appealing the double-amputee athlete’s negligent killing conviction and again seeking a murder verdict against him for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (AP Photo/Alon Skuy, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

Oscar Pistorius' lawyers have failed in their attempt to stop prosecutors from appealing the double-amputee athlete's negligent killing conviction.

Judge Thokozile Masipa on Friday dismissed an application by Pistorius' lawyers to challenge the appeal by prosecutors, who want Pistorius convicted of the more serious charge of murder for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

In December, Masipa granted prosecutors permission to take the case to South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal. Pistorius' lawyers were arguing on Friday that Masipa should not have allowed that appeal.

Pistorius, a Paralympic champion, is serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted of culpable homicide.

Prosecutors are bringing the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The Olympian could face a minimum of 15 years in jail if convicted of murder.