L'Aquila quake: Italy court convicts four

Rescue workers in L'Aquila searching for survivors (6 April 2009) Rescue workers had to search through the wreckage of dozens of buildings in L'Aquila

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An Italian court has convicted four people over the collapse of a university hall of residence during a deadly earthquake in L'Aquila in 2009.

Three of them were found guilty of carrying out shoddy restoration work in 2000 to the building, in which eight students lost their lives. The fourth failed to carry out proper checks.

More than 300 people died in the quake.

Last year, six scientists and an official were found guilty of failing to predict the severity of the quake.

They were accused of having provided "inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory" information about the danger of the tremors felt ahead of the disaster on 6 April 2009.

The four defendants in Saturday's case were found guilty of multiple manslaughter.

The three who carried out building works were sentenced to four years in prison, while the other man received a sentence of two-and-a-half years.

The judge ordered them to pay 100,000 euros (£86,000; $133,000) to each parent who lost a child and 50,000 to each brother or sister.

All four have been banned from working on public contracts for five years.

Six other defendants were either acquitted or had the charges dropped, prompting an angry response from victims' relatives, Italian media report.

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