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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 09:16 GMT
Falconio accused 'like CCTV man'
Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees
The couple were said to have been flagged down on Stuart Highway
The man accused of killing Briton Peter Falconio has told a court even his own father thought he looked like a man seen on CCTV after the attack.

Bradley Murdoch said four friends had also said he was like the man seen at a truck stop in Alice Springs, Australia, in July 2001, but he denied it was him.

Under cross-examination, he denied shooting Mr Falconio, 28, and burying his body, which has never been found.

Mr Murdoch also denies abducting Mr Falconio's girlfriend Joanne Lees, 32.

Under cross-examination at the Northern Territory Supreme Court in Darwin, Mr Murdoch denied that he had shot Mr Falconio and wrapped his head in Miss Lees's denim jacket so that his blood did not stain his vehicle when he moved the body.

Cross examination

The jacket has never been found.

Earlier, prosecutor Rex Wild asked him "Where did you bury Peter Falconio?"

He went on to ask: "You've buried Peter Falconio, haven't you?" to which Mr Murdoch replied: "No, I have not."

And a series of questions prompted denials from Mr Murdoch

Ms Lees, of Brighton, Sussex, earlier told the court she and Mr Falconio had been flagged down by Mr Murdoch while they were driving.

He is then alleged to have shot Mr Falconio, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and bundled his girlfriend into the back of his van, before she escaped and hid in the undergrowth.

It's not my vehicle because I know I was not there at that particular time
Bradley Murdoch

But Mr Murdoch denied these claims when they were put to him in court.

The defendant also denied changing the appearance of his vehicle "with some urgency".

Video footage taken at the Shell service station in Alice Springs in the early hours of 15 July showed a man driving a four wheel drive car stopping to refuel and to buy supplies.

Under cross-examination by Mr Wild QC, the mechanic told the court he had agreed the image looked "similar" to him and his vehicle.

But he denied it was him, saying the items bought were not what he bought on a regular basis ahead of a long journey.

"It's not my vehicle because I know I was not there at that particular time," he said.

Business partner

"It's similar, similar to thousands of other Toyotas that are four wheel drives."

Mr Murdoch admitted "lots" of his friends, who knew him well, had said it looked like him, including his former business partner James Hepi, and friend Beverley Allen.

Earlier, he said he was in Alice Springs on the same day as Mr Falconio and Miss Lees, just hours before the attack, but had left around 1530 and was about 600km (370 miles) away on the Tanami track, heading towards Broome, when the couple were allegedly attacked.

Despite his years of experience as a truck driver, he said he could not have made the 1,800km journey between Alice Springs and Broome any quicker than the 37 hours he said it took.

The trial continues.




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