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Salami Sherifi accused of Folkestone rape 20 years ago

A former Folkestone man who vanished 20 years ago after being accused of raping a schoolgirl has been arrested.

Salami Sherifi disappeared in 1999 after being granted bail for the alleged sex attack on a 14-year-old in the town.

An arrest warrant was issued by a judge at Canterbury Crown Court when he failed to show up for a court hearing.

Salami Sherifi was arrested at Gatwick Airport
Salami Sherifi was arrested at Gatwick Airport

But this week Sherifi was stopped after flying into Gatwick from Ireland, where is believed to be living.

He appeared at the court earlier this week but denied being Sherifi, now aged 41, formerly of Tontine Street.

He told Judge Rupert Lowe he was Ylli Kalemi but with the same date of birth.

But now the judge has been told that fingerprint and photographic evidence has confirmed that Kalemi and Sherifi are the same person.

Defence barrister John Fitzgerald told the court that his birth name is Kalemi but admitted he had also used the name Sherifi in 1998.

He appeared by prison video link and was asked by the clerk: “Are you Salami Sherifi also known as Ylli Kalemi?” and he replied: “Yes.”

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

The barrister told the judge: “The birth certificate is in the name of Kalemi but he accepts the name Salami Sherifi has been used by him before.

“He accepts he is the man arrested in October 1998 on suspicion of rape.

"He apologises to the court. He lied and panicked when he was arrested.”

Kalemi, who is accused of raping the teenager in August 1998, will now face trial in May.

He was remanded in custody.

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