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Italian Quake Scientists Convicted

At least 300 people died in an earthquake in the Italian town of L'Aquila in 2009.
An Italian court has convicted six scientists and a government official of manslaughter and sentenced them to six years in jail for failing to give adequate warning of a 2009 earthquake which killed hundreds of people.

The seven scientists -- members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks -- were accused of negligence and malpractice.

A 6.3-strong earthquake struck L'Aquila, in Italy's Abruzzo region on April 6, 2009, killing at least 300 people, injuring 1,000, and wrecking tens of thousands of buildings.

The court case centered on whether the experts gave an overly reassuring picture of the risks facing the town.

It has drawn widespread condemnation from international bodies, which said the risk of litigation may deter scientists from advising governments or even working to assess seismic risk.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP