Two Men Charged Over Stabbing Attack On Tony Mokbel

Detectives have charged two 21-year-old men with attempted murder over the stabbing of drug kingpin Tony Mokbel at a Victorian prison.

Mobkel, 53,  remains in a critical condition at Royal Melbourne Hospital after he was stabbed multiple times at Barwon Prison about 3.40pm on Monday afternoon.

A 31-year-old inmate who was also attacked and taken to a Geelong hospital for treatment was released on Tuesday morning.

In a statement, Victoria Police said the two 21-year-old men were charged with attempted murder, intentionally causing serious injury and causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence.

The pair will appear in court for a filing hearing on Friday.

READ MORE: Tony Mokbel 'Critical' After Prison Stabbing 

CCTV captured the attack in an exercise yard as Mokbel was walking back to a unit in Barwon's mainstream compound.

"He was approached by two prisoners who assaulted him, knocked him to the ground and you can see the footage very clearly, showing a number of stabbing actions," Corrections Commissioner Emma Cassar told 3AW radio.

"Another prisoner did come to Tony Mokbel's aid it seems, and he was also injured."

She told ABC radio there was no indication the second prisoner was Mokbel's bodyguard.

"From the footage it looks like just a random person who was in the area at the time, but there's nothing to suggest that it was a bodyguard or carer of Tony Mokbel," she said.

Three homemade weapons were recovered nearby.

Mokbel being loaded into an Ambulance helicopter on Monday

Police and prison authorities are investigating what sparked the attack, which occurred a day after a newspaper reported Mokbel recently intervened in a standover scheme and extortion racket run by Islander inmates.

Cassar said it is too early to tell if the incident related to a "power play" within the jail.

She said the scandal over Mokbel's former barrister being a police informer, which opened a possible window for Mokbel to appeal, would also be considered.

"He was very confident he would get out of jail," Cassar said, adding she suspected it "probably was" irritating other prisoners.

After fleeing Australia while on trial in 2006, Mokbel was captured in Greece in 2007 and was sentenced to a 30-year jail term for drug crimes, with a minimum of at least 22 years before being eligible for parole.

Mokbel was stabbed in the same prison where fellow gangland identity Carl Williams was murdered in April 2010 by another inmate, Matthew Charles Johnson.

With AAP.