- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ROME (AP) - Four top Italian disaster experts have quit their jobs, saying the convictions of several former colleagues for failing to adequately warn of a deadly 2009 earthquake means they can’t properly perform their duties.

A court on Monday convicted seven former members of Italy’s so-called “Great Risks Commission” on manslaughter charges, giving each a six-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors alleged the defendants didn’t properly inform residents of L’Aquila town of the risk for a big quake following weeks of small tremors.

Scientists have ridiculed the case, saying there’s no definitive way to predict temblors.

Commission president Luciano Maiani and two other members resigned Tuesday. Maiani said the court ruling made it impossible to work in a “serene and efficient” way.

Also quitting was a top official at the Department of Civil Protection.