Venerdì, 16 Novembre 2018
ROME

Quake risk body chief quits over L'Aquila verdict

English
© ANSA

Rome, October 23 - Physicist Luciano Maiani on
Tuesday resigned as president of Italy's principal
natural-disaster risk-assessment body in the wake of the
conviction of seven top-level scientists and public officials
for manslaughter in connection with the April 2009 earthquake
that shook the Abruzzo town of L'Aquila and surrounding areas,
leaving 309 people dead.
Maiani told ANSA that he had decided to resign due to the
"impossibility for the Commission of being able to work with
serenity and provide the State with a high level of scientific
consultancy in such complex conditions".
The Commission's vicepresidente Mauro Rosi and its president
emeritus Giuseppe Zamberletti also stepped down.
On Monday a L'Aquila court sentenced seven scientists, all
members of the Commission on Major Risks at the time of the
earthquake, to six years in jail and barred them from public
office for allegedly providing "superficial and ineffective"
assessment of seismic risk and of disclosing "inaccurate,
incomplete and contradictory" information regarding earthquake
danger.
One of the defendants was Mauro Dolce, director of the civil
protection department's seismic and volcanic risks office, who
on Tuesday handed in his resignation.
The national and international scientific community has
slammed the court verdict, saying it sets a dangerous precedent
as major earthquakes cannot be accurately predicted.
Meanwhile on Tuesday L'Aquila journalist Giustino Parisse
who lost his two sons and father in the earthquake wrote in the
Abruzzo paper Il Centro that he does not "feel able to take my
anger out on those men".
"I have shaken hands with some of them over the last few
months, including during the trial, and I did not find them to
be stained with blood. I saw fragile men who were perhaps aware
that they had made a mistake and for that reason were caught up
in the turmoil of a tragedy that also swept them away", he
wrote.
The seven defendants are to appeal against the sentence in a
case that could be heard towards the end of next year.
It could take years if it goes on to to the third level of
appeal, at the Court of Cassation.

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