Four young men charged over a fatal shooting outside a crowded Melbourne boxing match are likely to argue they acted in self-defence.
Ali El Nasher, his brother Abdullah, Osamma Allouche and Mikhael Myko faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court via video link on Thursday over the March 1 Kensington boxing match shootout.
Allouche and Abdullah El Nasher are charged with murdering Ben Togiai, 30.
All four men, who are aged in their 20s, are also accused of attempting to murder two men in their 30s - kickboxer Omar Bchinnati and another man - who were hospitalised with gunshot wounds.
Mr Togiai's family were in court for Thursday's lengthy administrative hearing, which approved a list of witnesses for a pre-trial hearing in March 2020.
The court was told a confrontation or scuffle occurred between two tables about 15 minutes before the shootout.
A defence lawyer said the four accused claimed one of their alleged victims was armed with a gun when he was shot and was seen as a "threat".
But prosecutors say arguments of self-defence and defence of another by the four men won't hold up, because "they were the initial aggressors".
The El Nasher brothers went on the run after the shootout, police previously said, with Abdullah jumping from a Sydney balcony as police tried to arrest him.
He spent time in hospital recovering from his injuries before being extradited to Melbourne, alongside Myko, to face charges.
Ali El Nasher spent four months on the run after the shootout, during which he allegedly stomped on someone's head, before handing himself in to police in July.
The boxing match reportedly had a capacity crowd on the night of the shooting, with about 1000 spectators including underworld figures Mick Gatto and Toby Mitchell.
A five-day committal hearing, which will hear evidence from about 20 witnesses, has been set from March 30 next year.
Australian Associated Press