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Experts cleared over Italy quake

An appeals court has cleared seven experts charged with failing to adequately warn residents of the risk before an earthquake struck central Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people.

The court in L'Aquila, the city struck by the quake, overturned guilty verdicts against the seven saying no crime had been committed.

The convictions two years ago sent shockwaves through the scientific community, which argued that the charges represented a misunderstanding about the science behind earthquake probabilities.

The defendants, all prominent scientists or geological or disaster experts, were accused of giving "inexact, incomplete and contradictory information" about whether small tremors felt by L'Aquila residents in the weeks and months before the 6.3-magnitude quake should have been grounds for a warning.

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