updated 12/3/2008 7:46:32 AM ET 2008-12-03T12:46:32

An Italian judge has suspended a kidnapping trial linked to the CIA's extraordinary rendition program after the government said testimony could be a threat to Italy's national security.

The Milan trial involves 26 Americans and five Italian intelligence agents charged in the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric. Most of the Americans are CIA agents.

The judge on Wednesday suspended the trial until March 18 in the expectation that Italy's Constitutional Court would have resolved the national security issue by then. A ruling from the high court is due March 10.

Both Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his predecessor Romano Prodi have warned testimony in the case could compromise operations between Italian spy services and the CIA.

More on CIA | extraordinary rendition

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