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Lawyers will appeal against the six-year jail term handed to seven officials in Italy for failing to give adequate warning of a 2009 earthquake.

A court in L’Aquila said six scientists and an ex-civil servant were guilty manslaughter over their incorrect predictions on the likelihood of a quake striking the city.Three hundred and nine people died in the disaster.

Alessandra Stefano, a defence lawyer, said the sentence made no sense at all.
“I am still of the opinion that no elements of responsiblity have been proved,” she said.

The seven will remain free pending the result of their appeal. They have also been banned from public office for life.

Bernardo de Bernardinis, the civil protection officer in the dock, said he had done all he could based on his understanding of the situation.
“I could not do anything else,” he said.

Claudia Carosi, who lost her sister in the disaster, disagreed.
“Now they will start to take their responsibilities a bit more seriously. We only wanted this because we do not want a vendetta,” she told reporters outside court.
“Obviously my sister will never return, she won’t return today nor ever again.”

Relatives of the victims welcomed the sentence, but the country’s scientific community described the case as “putting science itself on trial.”

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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