Attorneys for three Burbank men charged in connection with a double stabbing at the Santa Monica Pier in January said Monday that one of the men was defending himself after being provoked and attacked, while the other two weren’t involved in the fight.

The three men, Araik Ovoian, 24, Alex Akbari, 19, and Gevork Bagdasaryan, 18, were in court Monday for their preliminary hearing, though it was continued until next month.

Ovoian was charged with two counts of attempted murder using a knife, while Bagdasaryan and Akbari were charged with one count each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. They had pleaded not guilty to the charges in January.

Outside the courtroom, the three defense attorneys said their clients, while fishing on the pier, were provoked by an argument with a fisherman, Antonio Castillo, who is one of the alleged victims. The second alleged victim was identified in the felony complaint as Gilberto Dorado.

After the verbal argument ended, Castillo reportedly reapproached the defendants’ group, after which a fight broke out, the defense attorneys said.

“The guy approached my client and, we say, took a knife out and tried to attack him,” said Ovoian’s attorney, Anthony Brooklier, showing photographs in which Ovoian has cuts and scratches on his hand, neck and arm. “We have a very good and valid self-defense case.”

But the prosecutor countered during a phone interview that Ovoian stabbed the victims during the fight, while Bagdasaryan and Akbari punched and restrained one of them.

“There’s no evidence that I’m aware of that the defendants were provoked to use self-defense,” said Deputy Dist. Atty. Heather Steggell.

Attorneys for the other two defendants said their clients weren’t involved in the altercation.

“My client’s totally innocent — he has nothing to do with this, zero,” said Bagdasaryan’s attorney, Pat Harris.

Akbari’s attorney, Fariba Rahimi, said the same thing for her client. “He was just there, that’s his guilt,” she said.

Investigators are currently conducting forensics tests on a knife found near Castillo’s belongings, though he has reportedly claimed the knife was not his.

“There’s no evidence that it’s his knife,” prosecutor Steggell said.

Ovoian and Akbari remained in custody, while Bagdasaryan was released from jail earlier this month after posting $500,000 bail.

A 17-year-old boy, who was not identified because he’s a minor, was also charged with two counts of attempted murder in connection with the stabbings.

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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