THE former boyfriend of a woman accused of murdering two children in an arson attack has denied the fire was set over a drug debt, a jury has heard.

Amjad Khan was giving evidence at Oxford Crown Court today in the trial of Fiaz Munshi, whom he was in a secret relationship with.

Munshi denies murdering eight-year-old Anum Khan and her brother Majid, 15, both Amjad's siblings, in a fire in Magdalen Road, Oxford in 1997.

Amjad was jailed for three and a half years in 1997 for plotting to sell heroin and was in prison when the attack took place.

The court was told he had been arrested in Headington after being sent on a deal by friend Haroon Sharif.

Defence barrister Stephen Kamlish said that Sharif had visited Amjad in prison the day before the fire was set. 

During the visit, the court heard, Amjad had been asked about a stash of drugs and money.

Mr Kamlish said: "The following argument occurred because Haroon Sharif wanted his money that you were still holding, £8,000 had been mentioned."

Amjad replied: "No, that was not mentioned. There was no such thing."

Mr Kamlish said Amjad played his part as a drug dealer down and lied about his involvement in drug dealing, saying he was not as "naive" as he made out.

Amjad's older sister Shahnaz Aktar has begun her evidence which will continue this afternoon.

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