BRADLEY John Murdoch admitted he was the man shown in a truck stop security video filmed hours after Huddersfield man Peter Falconio disappeared in the Australian Outback, a court heard today.
But he qtold his business associate, James Hepi, he had no involvement in the backpacker's alleged murder, Darwin Magistrates' Court heard.
Murdoch, 45, is accused of murdering Mr Falconio on a highway on July 14, 2001, and abducting and assaulting his girlfriend, Joanne Lees, from Almondbury.
Murdoch is facing a hearing to establish if evidence is strong enough to send him for a jury trial.
Mr Falconio's body has never been found.
Mr Hepi said that after July, 2001, Murdoch talked about different ways of getting rid of a body, including putting it in a drain on the side of the road.
Mr Hepi also told the court Murdoch had two handguns, which he wore in a holster on his body, sometimes in public or kept in the car.
He also said he saw Murdoch making handcuffs out of wire cables around the same time while he was at Mr Hepi's property in Sedan, South Australia.
Mr Hepi was shown a replica of the handcuffs Miss Lees said were used to restrain her.
"(They are) very similar to the ones I saw in the shed," Mr Hepi said.
He said he and Murdoch regularly travelled to different cities across Australia.
He said one of the trips coincided with the date Mr Falconio, 28, of Hepworth, went missing.
When he returned from the trip on July 16, two days after Mr Falconio went missing, Murdoch told Mr Hepi his pick-up truck needed repairs and took it to get fixed.
Mr Hepi said that when he next saw it, "the appearance of the vehicle changed dramatically".
Murdoch also shaved off his moustache and shaved his head, Mr Hepi added.
Under cross-examination, Mr Hepi said he had received a more lenient sentence for serious criminal charges after providing police with information about Murdoch.
"You saw Mr Murdoch as your ticket out of jail?" Murdoch's lawyer, Grant Algie, asked.
"That's correct," Mr Hepi replied.
But he denied he lied to police in order to set up Murdoch.
Mr Hepi also said he would probably ask about the £102,000 reward offered in the case if Murdoch was convicted of murder.
Earlier, the court heard how police had concerns about the story told by Joanne Lees.
The alleged inconsistencies included her description of her attacker's vehicle and gun and an apparent lack of injury or frostbite after spending five hours in the open desert at night.
Police Supt Jeanette Kerr said police were worried that no mechanics or car modifiers "had ever seen a vehicle such as the one she described", nor could firearms experts identify a similar gun.
Police also quizzed Miss Lees about the five hours she said she spent hiding in the bush after fleeing her attacker, after Aboriginal trackers suggested nobody had stayed in that spot "for anything like that length of time", the court heard.
The case continues.