A court has begun deliberations in the manslaughter trial of seven scientists and experts accused of failing to sufficiently warn residents before an earthquake struck central Italy and killed more than 300 people three years ago.

The two-judge panel began deliberations Monday in a case that has caused concern among seismologists who insist it is impossible to predict earthquakes.

The seven defendants are accused of giving "inexact, incomplete and contradictory information" about whether smaller tremors felt in the six months before the April 6, 2009 quake should have been grounds for a quake warning.

The defense has stressed the impossibility of predicting quakes, a position backed by international researchers.