Kamal Reddy, who has denied murdering a woman and her daughter, says he was frightened by the man who actually did.
Reddy is continuing to give evidence at the High Court in Auckland today. It's alleged he strangled Pakeeza Yusuf with an electrical iron cord and smothered her three-year-old daughter Juwairiyah 'Jojo' Kalim, at the end of 2006 or the start of 2007.
The pair were found buried under a Takapuna overbridge in October 2014.
In a secretly recorded interview Reddy told police he had killed the pair, but the defence says he was actually an accessory after the fact.
Reddy says the person responsible is actually a man called James, and in a "lapse of judgement" agreed to help him dispose of the bodies.
Today he told the court he tried to tell undercover police officers he didn't kill the pair but his answer wasn't accepted, so decided to "take it upon himself".
He says he didn't know how the pair were killed, and only described using an electrical cord to strangle Ms Yusuf because using an iron was "fresh in his mind".
He says he also made details up about what the victims were wearing.
During cross-examination he said he was afraid of 'James'.
"He told me that, 'If you speak out I will end up in jail, but my mates will be after you.'"
The trial continues.