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ROME (AP) – Seven scientists and other experts have gone on trial on manslaughter charges for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy.
The case is being closely watched by seismologists around the globe who insist it's impossible to predict earthquakes and dangerous to suggest otherwise, since seismologists will be discouraged from issuing any advice at all if they fear legal retaliation.
Last year, about 5,200 international researchers signed a petition supporting their Italian colleagues. The Seismological Society of America wrote to Italy's president expressing concern about what it called an unprecedented legal attack on science.
The seven defendants are accused of giving "inexact, incomplete and contradictory information" about whether smaller tremors felt by L'Aquila residents in the six months before the April 6, 2009, quake should have constituted grounds for a quake warning.
Read full story at http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-09-20/italy-quake-tri...