British model Chloe Ayling will not have to face her alleged kidnapper in court, a judge has ruled.
Opening the trial of Polish national Lukasz Pawel Herba in Italy, the judge denied a defense motion to compel Miss Ayling to testify in open court.
Her pre-trial testimony will be submitted when the trial continues at the Corte d’Assises, in Milan, on 8 February instead.
Herba, 30, is accused of luring Miss Ayling to Milan with the promise of a modeling job before kidnapping her on 11 July.
When Miss Ayling, of Coulsdon, South London, showed up at a supposed photographer's studio, she was zipped inside a canvas bag and taken to a farmhouse near Turin, authorities say.
Italian police said she is thought to have been drugged and her captor tried to auction her online for more than £230,000.
The model's agent was also told to pay a ransom to secure her release, but after six days she was freed at the British Consulate in Milan - despite no ransom being paid.
Miss Ayling told in July how she feared for her life "second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour".
Herba maintains he is innocent.