The judge in the trial of three City Link directors over redundancies at the firm last year has found that they "genuinely believed" another buyer for the company could be found.
Thomas Wright, Robert Peto and David Smith were accused of failing to notify the Business Secretary of more than 2000 redundancies when the company collapsed on Christmas Eve last year.
But Deputy District Judge David Goodman found that they "genuinely believed a sale in administration was not only possible but quite probable".
"A director cannot be expected to put a crystal ball on his or her desk at a time of huge shock and turmoil, and predict the likely consequences of an action, unless a consequence is either the only foreseeable one or is the only consequence that can be reasonably envisaged."
"The defendants say that the redundancies were not the only foreseeable consequence, nor even in their view the most likely one because they believed the business could be sold."
He pointed out that the administrators Ernst and Young had identified a potential buyer for the company after it went into administration - and that a firm offer of £17m had been made.
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