[JURIST] A judge has ruled that Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi [official website, in Italian] and former PM Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile] will not give evidence at the preliminary hearing of Nicolo Pollari, the former head of Italian Intelligence and Security Services [official website], to determine his involvement in the alleged 2003 CIA kidnapping [JURIST news archive; WP timeline] and rendition of Egyptian cleric Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile]. Claiming that the evidence proving his innocence is classified, Pollari had sought to prove his innocence through testimony by the current and former prime ministers. Judge Caterina Interlandi ruled, however, that such testimony is irrelevant to whether a trial against Pollari will be held. She also rejected an argument by Pollari that his own testimony would necessarily violate state secrecy laws [JURIST report].
If a trial against Pollari proceeds, it will be the first criminal trial to deal with the CIA rendition program [JURIST news archive]. Currently, over 30 Italian and American intelligence agents are being investigated in Italian courts [JURIST report]. Pollari has repeatedly denied his involvement [JURIST report] in the Nasr case. Reuters has more.