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Judge Adds Video Evidence in Trial Against Activist

A security guard, left, talks with supporters as he keeps supporters from reaching the Phnom Penh Municipality Court during a gathering to call for the release of anti-government protesters who were arrested in a police crackdown, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Nearly two dozen of Cambodia's anti-government protesters were arrested earlier this year in connection with social unrest. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Trials against 23 labor activists continued in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, with union leader Von Pov addressing the court to defend himself.

The activists are charged with inciting violence in mass demonstrations in January.

The court was shown three video clips on Wednesday, in which Von Pov can be seen calling on security forces not to fire on demonstrators but to instead turn against their bosses.

Sam Sokong, defense lawyer for Von Pov, said Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Keo Mony had overstepped his role in procuring and showing the video—a job reserved for court prosecutors in Cambodia’s French-based judicial system.

“His involvement in the collection of evidence will affect justice to my client,” Sam Sokong said.

Von Pov told the court Wednesday he had joined demonstrations to call for a raise in the minimum wage, to $160 per month, but not to directly attack the Yak Ching factory, as alleged.

Judge Keo Mony said he had the right to add his own evidence.

Von Pov repeatedly asked for a break during of his hearing, due to injuries he sustained during the January crackdown. The judge finally postponed further proceedings for Thursday.