Seven scientists have been jailed for six years after they failed to predict a killer earthquake.

The seven scientists were convicted of manslaughter — for giving the all-clear over a quake that left more than 300 dead.

An Italian court heard how they failed to act when two small tremors preceded a massive one that left thousands homeless in the city of L’Aquila.

Defence lawyers argued it was impossible to predict an earthquake and that the men should be cleared of any wrongdoing over the tragedy in April 2009.

More than 5,000 fellow academics signed a support letter in the landmark two-year trial.

Prosecutor Alfredo Rossini said the experts had offered an “incomplete, inept, unsuitable and criminally mistaken analysis” of the early tremors.

The group had told anxious residents not to worry — so they stayed at home as the 6.3-magnitude disaster struck.

Judge Marco Billi found Franco Barberi, Enzo Boschi, Mauro Dolce, Bernardo De Bernardinis, Giulio Selvaggi, Claudio Eva and Gianmichele Calvi guilty.

Boschi, ex-president of the Italian Vulcanology Institute said: “I’m stunned.

I still don’t understand what these men have actually been accused of.”

De Bernardinis added: “I am innocent before God and man. But if responsibility can be proved, I will accept it.”