Thomas Main, 41, said he believed Francis McGrow, the brother of Tam "The Licensee" McGraw, was the target of "a hit".
Mr Main denies murdering 55-year-old Mr McGrow at his flat at Hermiston Road, Springboig, Glasgow, between October 26 and 27, last year.
Yesterday the jury in the case at the High Court in Glasgow heard extracts from the police interview with Mr Main five days after officers found Mr McGrow's body.
In this, Mr Main said: "Francis was my best pal."
He was asked: "Did you murder Francis McGrow," and replied: "No, because he's my pal. I wouldn't murder anybody. I've not got the bottle in me to murder anyone."
Mr Main then added: "It was probably a hit on him. That's it, because of Tam his brother. You know his brother, Tam McGraw 'The Licensee', the grass. He got money off him all the time."
He was then asked: "How long has Tam McGraw been dead?" and he replied: "But he's still got back-up."
Jurors heard Mr McGrow's body was found at his home after a call was made at 10.04am on October 27, last year.
Mr Main, who had been staying with Mr McGrow for three days after giving his flat as a bail address, denied he made the call and added: "I never made the phone call. If I murdered somebody do you think I'd make a phone call. This is my pal. I'm not going to murder my pal."
He said he had arrived back at Mr McGrow's at 3am on October 27 last year, and went straight to the bedroom at the front of the house which he was using.
At 6am he told police he woke and left the house heading to Glasgow city centre.
When asked why he had not looked in on Mr McGrow when he arrived back at the flat, he replied: "I didn't want to wake him and make him angry coming in at that time."
Mr Main added he also didn't want to disturb the two dogs in the flat
When asked if he had murdered Mr McGrow, Mr Main replied: "It wasn't me."
Earlier, pathologist Julie McAdam told the court Mr McGrow was stabbed 38 times. Forensic scientist Joanne Cochrane said there was not a lot of blood at the crime scene.
The trial before judge Lord Armstrong continues.