House fire murder trial told of continuous phone calls

The Oxford Times: . .

A WOMAN has told a court how her family was harassed with phone calls in the months leading up to an arson attack which killed two of her siblings.

Annis Akhtar was yesterday giving evidence on the third day of a murder trial at Oxford Crown Cour.

Fiaz Munshi, 38, is accused of murdering eight-year-old Anum Khan and her brother Majid, 15, in a revenge arson plot after she was shamed in a family feud.

The Khan family had blamed Munshi and others after their son Amjad – who was in a secret relationship with her – was jailed for plotting to deal heroin. The siblings died in a fire at their family home in Magdalen Road, Oxford, in August 1997. Miss Akhtar said there were calls to the house landline continuously and it was believed that Munshi, now of Manley Road in Oldham, and her sister Riaz were behind them. Riaz was later jailed for manslaughter.

She said Anum answered a call the evening before the fire. Miss Akhtar said: “She told my dad ‘it’s those silly girls again’.”

Miss Akhtar also told the court about a fight with the sisters at their then homein Freelands Road, Oxford.

She said Riaz shouted at Miss Akhtar and her mother, sister and brother Majid: “You are playing with fire.”

Defence barrister Stephen Kamlish said this had been made up as it had not been mentioned in her first statement to police two days after the fire. He said: “You and your sisters and brother have all thought about the impression you are creating with the jury and you are thinking carefully about how you are giving your evidence.”

Prosecutor Neil Moore said to Miss Akhtar: “It is being suggested this is a family invention, what do you say to that.”

She said: “There would be no need. We had suffered a great loss and had gone through a lot of pain coming to terms with what happened.”

Five men were jailed for the murder in 1998.

The trial will continue on Monday.

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