Six Italian seismologists have been convincted of manslaughter for not properly informing citizens of the L'Aquila earthquake in April of 2009 that killed 300 people, says BBC news.
In a regional court, prosecutors said the defendants gave a reassuring statement that led to thousands deciding not to flee during the 6.3 magnitude quake, reports BBC.
The six ex-government officials have been sentenced to six years in prison, but will appeal the sentence.
The sentence has shocked the scientific world. Over 5,000 scientists signed a letter of objection to the Italian government, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Prosecutors said the defendants did not properly warn citizens of the potential damage the quake could cause, in particular the numbers of buildings that would fall.
BBC reports that David Rothery, of the UK's Open University, said earthquakes were "inherently unpredictable"