An Italian court has sentenced six scientists and a government official to six years in prison for manslaughter in connection with an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in the town of L'Aquila in 2009, Italy's official ANSA news agency reported.
The trial centered on a meeting that took place a week before the quake struck at which the experts concluded that it was "unlikely" but not impossible that a major quake would take place, despite concern from residents about recent rumblings, according to ANSA.
Prosecutors said the defendants were guilty of a "inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory information about the dangers of seismic activity undermining the protection of the population."
"I'm dejected, despairing. I still don't understand what I'm accused of," ANSA cited Enzo Boschi, one of the defendants and a former president of the National Geophysics and Vulcanology Institute, as saying after the sentencing on Monday.
The defense lawyer, Marcello Petrelli, said the ruling would be the subject of an appeal, according to ANSA.