One of the indicted, Bernardo De Bernardinis, who was deputy chief of Italy's Civil Protection Department, reacts during a his trial.
Filippo Monteforte /AFP/Getty Images
Six Italian scientists have been sentenced to six years in prison for what a judge said was a faulty forecast of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila.
The BBC reports that prosecutors said the scientists, who work for the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, "gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defense maintained there was no way to predict major quakes."
According to NBC News, what happened is that L'Aquila had been feeling tremors in late March. One local man, who was not a scientist, made the prediction that a big one was on its way. Responding to the man on March 31, the group of scientists concluded it was "improbable" that the area would experience a major earthquake, "although they stopped short of entirely excluding the possibility."
On April 6, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed more than 300 poeple.