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Verdict set for Monday in Italy quake scientists trial
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) Oct 19, 2012

A verdict in the trial of seven top Italian scientists for manslaughter for underestimating the risks of an earthquake which killed 309 people in L'Aquila, central Italy, in 2009, is expected on Monday.

"The verdict is expected on October 22," said Enzo Musco, a lawyer for Professor Gian Michele Calvi who is one of the defendants.

The prosecutor's office has asked for sentences of four years in prison for each of the seven who were all members of the Major Risks Committee.

The committee met in the central Italian city on March 31, 2009 -- six days before the powerful earthquake devastated the region -- after a series of small tremors in the preceding weeks had sown panic among local inhabitants.

Prosecutor Fabio Picuti said the experts had provided "an incomplete, inept, unsuitable and criminally mistaken" analysis after that meeting, which reassured locals and prevented them from preparing for the quake.

The experts had said after their meeting that they could not predict an earthquake but urged local authorities to ensure safety rules were respected.

The seven include Enzo Boschi, who at the time was the head of Italy's National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology.

The La Repubblica daily on Friday also reported on a separate case against an engineer who lost his daughter in the earthquake but was put on trial for failing to respect anti-quake regulations in one of his constructions.

Diego De Angelis, 67, was convicted on Thursday and sentenced to three years in prison.

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Berlin (AFP) Oct 17, 2012
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