One of the men accused of murdering Stephen Lawrence told police "I ain't no murderer and I ain't no racist", a court has heard.
In police interviews in 1993, Gary Dobson also repeatedly denied knowing his co-defendant David Norris.
In fact, the pair had already been photographed together by police surveillance teams outside the home of two other men, Neil and Jamie Acourt, who are not on trial.
A jury at the Old Bailey has heard that at first in interview Dobson said he only spent time with the Acourts and denied that there was a fourth member of their friendship group.
When asked to explain references to someone called Dave in his diary, he claimed that they were about a Dave Williams and when the name David Norris was put to him, he denied having ever met him, saying: "I don't know who you mean. I've heard the name, I've heard the name but I don't know who you mean."
The police maintained that Norris and Dobson were at the Acourts' house after Mr Lawrence's murder.
During house-to-house inquiries, Dobson said that he was at home all evening on the night Mr Lawrence was killed, but later admitted that he had gone to the Acourts to borrow a Bob Marley CD at about 11.45pm.
Norris exercised his right to remain silent in his police interviews, on the advice of his solicitor.
Dobson, 36, and Norris, 35, deny taking part in the gang attack in which Mr Lawrence was killed in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993.
The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.