A WITNESS in the Nat Fraser murder trial denied paying hush money to a second hand car dealer.
But the High Court in Edinburgh heard that farmer Hector Dick (56), told a different story when he gave evidence at an earlier trial.
"I have always been confused about it," Mr Dick told defence QC John Scott.
The trial has heard that after mum-of-two Arlene Fraser (33), vanished from her Elgin home 14 years ago, police were desperate to find out about a beige Ford Fiesta.
They believed the car could be the key to finding out what happened to Arlene.
Mr Dick, who has been giving evidence for three days, has described how he became suspicious when the Fiesta was taken during the night from outside his home at Wester Hillside Farm, near Elgin.
A couple of days later the car re-appeared.
Mr Dick doused the Fiesta in diesel and set fire to it, before taking the crushed remains to a scrap yard.
He said he bought the car from a local man, Kevin Ritchie, on Fraser's orders and paid £450 for it, £50 more than expected.
Mr Scott challenged Mr Dick: "The truth is you gave Kevin Ritchie £50 for his silence?"
Mr Dick told him: "I never told him to keep quiet,"
The farmer was then shown a transcript of evidence he gave early in 2003 when he had been cleared of murdering Arlene. He told that trial: "It was Nat's money."
He also told the earlier trial: "Nat said just to keep him quiet."
Mr Dick said he remembered there had been talk about whether speakers were included and whether the wheel hubs were to be changed when he bought the car.
"I have always been confused about it," he added.
Mr Dick also told police who questioned him in 1998 that Arlene was "a good looking woman."
The farmer added: "That doesn't mean I was sexually attracted to her."
The trial continues with Mr Dick expected to face another day of questions tomorrow from Mr Scott.
Fraser denies murdering his wife Arlene.