"I CAME back to this country because I had nothing to hide."
That's what murder accused Arben Lleshi told a jury as he repeated his denials that he played any part in the killing of drug dealer Agim Hoxha.
Winchester Crown Court has heard how the 25-year-old had left England for his native Albania in the days after the murder on April 10 last year and spent some time staying in a five star hotel.
He was arrested in Rome in May by officers from Hampshire police who had travelled to meet him.
Prosecutor Nicholas Haggan QC however suggested the real reason was because he thought there was no evidence to connect him to the killing and there wasn't a link to flat 283 Shirley Road, which Arben had just begun renting and where it is claimed the murder took place.
He said: "You didn't think you had left any evidence of a murder in the flat when in fact you had. Fingerprints on two wine bottles, fingerprints on a frame of the door, on the opening edge of the door to the flat and fingerprints in blood."
Arben said the reason his prints were in blood may have been because he has "sweaty hands".
Arben Lleshi, of Onslow Road and Afrim Lleshi, 36, of Shirley Road, both deny murder. Arben denies a second charge of perverting e course of justice which Afrim has admitted.