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Kelantan Sultan’s lawyers reject reports that marriage with Russian ex-beauty queen is still valid

Kelantan Sultan’s lawyers reject reports that marriage with Russian ex-beauty queen is still valid

Sultan of Kelantan Muhammad V (right) and his ex-wife Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko. (Photo: Instagram/rihannapetra)

SINGAPORE: The solicitors acting on behalf of Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V have rejected reports that the marriage between him and a Russian-born woman is still valid.

In a statement dated Monday (Jul 29), Eversheds Harry Elias said that Messrs Alexander Dobrovinky and Partners, the lawyers for Ms Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko, received a copy of the divorce certificate on Jul 11.

“We are solicitors for His Royal Highness Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan Malaysia (HRH) and we act in accordance in HRH’s instructions,” said the statement.

It added: “We have our instructions to make no further comments on any false or untrue claims raised in social media. On behalf of HRH, we request that HRH’s privacy be respected.”

The former Malaysian king reportedly married the former beauty queen last year. Ms Rihana is said to have given birth to a child in May.

File photo of Sultan Muhammad V, inspecting a ceremonial guard of honor at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 13, 2016. (Photo: AFP/Manan Vatsyayana) Sultan Muhammad V (C), the incoming 15th king of Malaysia, inspects a ceremonial guard of honor during the King's welcoming ceremony at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 13, 2016. (Photo: Manan VATSYAYANA/AFP)

On Jul 20, Mr Koh Tien Hua of Eversheds Harry Elias LLP said via a statement that the 49-year-old sultan had "irrevocably divorced" Ms Rihana by three Talaqs on Jun 22.

The divorce, done in front of two competent Muslim witnesses, was in accordance with Syariah laws, Mr Koh added. He would not comment on where the divorce took place.

“The Kelantan Syariah Court has issued a Divorce Certificate dated 1 July 2019 in accordance with the Islamic Family Law Enactment 2002,” the statement then said.

Mr Koh said that Ms Rihana has been informed of the divorce by her Russian lawyer.

Mr Koh also said: "There is no objective evidence as yet as to the biological father of the child."

READ: Ex-wife of Kelantan Sultan thanks Malaysians for support after divorce

However, there have been differing accounts.

A report published by the Daily Mail last week, quoting Ms Rihana’s friends, said the marriage was still valid.

Mr Evgeny Tarlo, her lawyer, has challenged the sultan’s lawyers in Singapore to prove that they were working for the ruler.

“I do not know who Mr Koh Tien Hua is and by what right he is commenting on the personal life of Oksana Voevodina,” he said.

Mr Tarlo also told Russian media that there has been no divorce.

He added: “As for paternity, what is there to comment on? It is they who must prove that the child is a stranger, and it is not for us to justify ourselves.

“Oksana is a married woman and Faris (the sultan) is the father of her child. It is immutable.”

The Kelantan palace has not commented on the divorce or the marriage.

Source: CNA/aw(hs)

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