A judge Friday cleared a company and seven of its former employees of manslaughter charges in the sinking of a ferry off Belgium three years ago that left 193 people dead.

The justice, Sir Michael John Turner, told the jury on the 27th day of the trial to find P and O European Ferries (Dover) Ltd., three former directors and two seamen not guilty.He said the prosecution had failed to legally prove manslaughter.

Turner also ordered the jury to acquit two other seamen when the prosecution said it would drop its case against them.